We all want to avoid disruption. Today, every CEO lives with the secret fear that he or she will wake up tomorrow and discover that the next Uber has emerged in their industry and is about to eat their company for lunch.
Red teaming is the cure for that anxiety, because red teaming addresses the fundamental issues that lead to disruption.
Companies become ripe for disruption when they start to take their success for granted, when they stop taking a hard look at their business and stop asking tough questions, such as: What are still missing? What do our customers really think about our products and services? Is there a way to do what we do better?
That is what happened to Polaroid when it decided to pull out of the digital camera market and double-down on its film business. That is what happened to Yahoo! when it passed on the opportunity to purchase Google, and it is what happened to Blockbuster when it passed on the opportunity to buy Netflix — not just once, but three times. It is what happened to Palm, to BlackBerry, and to every taxicab driver in the world.
It is what will happen to your company, too, if you aren’t careful.
“Over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes,” said Google co-founder Larry Page when he announced the formation of Alphabet Inc. “You need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”
That is where red teaming comes in.
Red teaming forces you to challenge your assumptions, consider alternative views, and think differently about your business. Red teaming makes critical and contrarian thinking part of your company’s planning process and gives you a set of tools and techniques that can be used to stress-test your strategy. Red teaming helps you better understand your customers and your competitors. Red teaming helps you scan the business environment for unseen threats and missed opportunities. Red teaming shows you the dangers that lie ahead — and how to turn them to your advantage.
Red teaming is how you become one of the disruptors, not one of the disrupted.