So you’ve been running your organization a certain way successfully for a long time but you’re wondering whether tweaking a single element might make a difference in your performance.  Do you dare test your assumption?  Or do you play it safe and leave it alone?

Next month Southwest Airlines will test assigned seating.  They’re testing a 35 year old assumption that has been a distinctive element of their boarding strategy.  Could you bring yourself to do it?

Picked up a really interesting book the other day: Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management.  Great insights into the kind of management, evidence-based management, that is willing to test long-held assumptions in order to improve performance.  Opening illustration?  President George Washington died two days after his doctor drained nearly 5 pints of blood to treat a sore throat.  Why in the world would he do that?  Common practice in the 1700s.  Why are they not doing it today?  Today’s medical practice tends to be evidence-based.  Amazing the difference between medicine and so many other fields where a gut sense and impression often replaces hard facts.

Thanks to Church of the Customer Blog for the tip on the Southwest story!

Testing Long-Held Assumptions