Uncover assumptions

An  openness to learning begins with humility. We recognize that we may not have perfect knowledge. There may be more to learn. There may be a better way.

So in this step, we seek areas where we may have something to learn. We examine our beliefs about how we think our programs work, looking for assumptions and areas where we could benefit from learning more. 

First, answer these questions:

  1. What is the causal chain through which our program achieves the desired result?
  2. How do we know that’s true?
  3. What assumptions have we uncovered?

Consider these ingredients of success. If they are not in place, could we do anything to bring them about?

  • Is there a willingness to challenge accepted wisdom?  Are dissenting views sought out?
  • Do all staff (including junior ones) feel comfortable making suggestions or questioning the way things are done?
  • Do senior leaders actively encourage learning and innovation?

At the end of this step you should have:

  • A Theory of Change with assumptions identified