Creating a culture of customer-focused inquiry

Another post in my 140-word blog series (it's harder than you think!).

I once wrote a post on the importance of testing your hypotheses. In it I mentioned the importance of a culture of testing and inquiry. The problem is that many meetings consist of opposing belief statements that are resolved by majority rule instead of actual testing and validation.

Here is my simple idea for creating a stronger culture of inquiry:

  • Replace "I think..." with "My hypothesis is..."

If I hear, "I think we can grow market share by offering better support," I immediately think whether I agree or not. If I hear, "My hypothesis is that better support would result in growing our market share," I immediately think about the customer feedback we can use to test it. Maybe this only works for analytical types, but try it for a week and see what you think.

P.S. For a fun meeting game, count how many times "I think..." is used in your next meeting or add it to your business buzzword bingo sheet.

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