To Survive 2020, Reverse Everything You Believe About Your Industry

by Lisa Bodell for ForbesWomen

Despite the enormous challenges of this year, I’ve drawn inspiration from the industrial evolutions that are happening in real time. From the medical profession’s pivot to telemedicine and cars being sold through vending machines to the fashion industry’s embrace of 3-D tech and sustainability, tomorrow’s rules around how companies will create new products, serve customers and sell things are currently being rewritten.

As CEO of an accelerated learning company, I’ve helped people at global organizations reimagine how they do business. One of my favorite conceptualizing exercises is called Assumption Reversal and it can be conducted remotely by a large group or a small team. The reversal technique is designed to help us question our assumptions around everything from routine processes to business models.

In recent years, Citibank used it to reverse its assumptions about workflow between marketing and legal departments. Procurement teams at Novartis have also used it to reverse assumptions about internal processes. To demonstrate how you can use Assumption Reversal with your own teams, let’s use the hypothetical challenge of “generate new ideas for a restaurant.” (Given the new constraints placed on restaurants during the pandemic, this particular industry offers a case study in pivoting and improvising.)

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