This Week’s Focus: When I was six I found a sparrow in our family garden that had a broken wing. My mum and I put it in a box and gave it some milk and bread. The following morning the bird had disappeared – my mum told me that it must have got better and flown away.

It was only a couple of years ago, when I asked her if she remembered the injured sparrow we had saved, that my mum – after her laughter made her spitg out the cake she was eating – turned and said, “Stuart, you idiot, the bird died – I had to put it in the bin!”

For nearly 40 years I didn’t question my belief that the sparrow had recovered, but we all carry assumptions around with us that we fail to challenge – sometimes to our cost. Blockbuster’s focus on videos and DVD’s, at the expense of digital streaming, Kodak’s inability to respond to the rise of digital photography, and Tesco’s recent profit warning can all be seen as a failure to challenge long-held assumptions.

What assumptions do you hold about your customers, your markets and your business that you haven’t challenged recently?

Off The Record: Blackbird by The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.