Monday, September 14, 2015

Role Playing the Competition

When formulating strategy, leaders should ask members of their team to role play the competition from time to time.  Stepping into rivals' shoes can be an effective way to anticipate their strategic moves and prepare a counter-move.  In most cases, such competitor role plays focus on trying to anticipate the most damaging action that a rival might take.  We try to envision the worst case and prepare for it.  However, companies should also consider a very different scenario when role playing the competition.  They should also anticipate the ways in which key rivals might stumble badly.  What could a competitor do that would be damaging to its own position in the market?   Then, leaders want to challenge their teams:  How would we take full advantage of that stumble by the competition?  Are we ready to capitalize on that mistake?   Effective strategy formulation is not simply about anticipating the worst case scenario.  It's also about asking:  Are we well-positioned to take advantage of what could be a very good situation for us?  Do we have the capabilities, resources, and skills to capitalize on such a circumstance? 

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