Challenging Assumptions & Managing Assumptions

Sensing and Challenging the Unconscious Constraints or Rules to Discover


Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Happiness, Achievement,  Inspiration and Innovation unlimited!


"Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups." ~ Wethern’s Law of Suspended Judgement

4 WHYs of True Success

More Assumptions Quotes


6 Barriers To Creative Thinking and Innovation

10 Commandments of Innovation

  • Question Everything: Challenge assumptions, ask "Why?" and "What If?" questions constantly... More

Be Different and Make a Difference


5 Rules of Creative Thinking

By William N. Yeomans

  1. Don't let assumptions stifle your capacity. Throw every one of them... More

Yin-Yang of Entrepreneurial Creativity

The Jazz of Innovation

11 Practice Tips

Critical Thinking

Socratic Questions

  • Probing Assumptions

    Sample Questions

    • What are you assuming?

    • How did you choose those assumptions?

    • What could we assume instead?... More

Creativity Quotes

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."Erich Fromm... More

3 Levels of Creativity

2 Creativity Catalysts

The Starting Point of Innovation and Growth

Assumptions play a vital part in creative thinking.

Challenging assumptions means questioning the everyday things you take for granted. "The best assumption to have is that any commonly held belief is wrong," says Ken Olson, CEO of DEC.

The natural thing to do is the thing you have always done. Every time you approach a problem you bring your accumulated experience, knowledge and training to bear on it. But this includes you accumulated assumptions and biases – conscious and unconscious. The more experienced and expert you are, the more likely you are to assume outcomes by extrapolating from the known facts and experiences to predict a result. This mental baggage can prevent you from accepting innovative ideas.

Sometimes the way you frame a problem contains an assumption that prevents you from solving it. In Middle Ages the definition of astronomy was the 'study of how the heavenly bodies move around the Earth', i.e. the Earth was considered to be the centre of universe which resulted in the chain of wrong explanations of various phenomena. "Similar ideas exist in most businesses – assumptions that underpin most strategies and decisions, and that are so fundamental that they are never challenged," says Paul Sloane.3

How To Prevent Innovation (Humorous Tips)

Toyota's 10 Management Principles





  1. Effective Innovation: How to Stay Ahead of the Competition, John Adair

  2. Improve Your Lateral Thinking: Puzzles To Challenge Your Mind, Paul Sloane

  3. Creativity, Alexander Hiam

  4. The Jazz of Innovation, Vadim Kotelnikov


 Entrepreneurial Creativity (Ten3 Mini-course)


 Discover much more in the


Tips for Challenging Assumptions...

A Reminder for Managers...

Managing Assumptions...

Ask Searching Questions...

Making Conscious Assumptions...

Turning Accidental Discovering Into Habit...

 Case in Point  Albert Einstein's Method...

 Case in Point  Silicon Valley Firms...

 Case in Point  IDEO...

 Case in Point  Jack Welch...

 Case in Point  Apple Computers...

 Case in Point  Coco Chanel...

 Case in Point  Michael Dell...