The author describes “seven questions to unearth assumptions.”

  1. “What is fundamental about the way you see the situation?

  2. What is your judgment predicated on?

  3. What are other ways of looking at the situation that are just as valid from a different point of view?

  4. How could another person come to a completely different conclusion?

  5. How can you interpret the same circumstances and arrive in an opposing verdict?

  6. How could this mean the very opposite of what you think it does?

  7. Is there any way the essence of the situation can be interpreted differently?”

Seth Kahan, Getting Change Right (2010), at 188.

If you want to identify the risks within a function, it is important to unpack basic assumptions about what you see. Seth Kahan’s probing questions can help you do that.

Risk Tips is a periodic posting on the Risk Alternatives blog. Here, we share some of our favorite thinkers’ favorite thoughts (and a few of our own). Please buy the books we quote: we want you to build your library of risk management and process improvement gems. To find out more about risk management, start here.