Disruptor – Innovator – Traditionalist Map

As promising as open strategy is, traditional strategy-making processes can still serve companies well in certain situations, notably in core businesses that don’t face imminent threats of disruption. Instead of immediately opening each of your business functions, think of your businesses as a portfolio.

Identify which of your businesses are true disruptors, which of them face looming threats from disruption and must become more innovative, and which of them don’t face looming threats. Introduce openness in your disruptive businesses and in those that face looming threats, retaining traditional strategy-making in the others.

The Disruptor – Innovator – Traditionalist Map helps you to plan which initiatives should be open and which ones stay closed.

open strategy tools- disruptor innivator traditionalist map

Trend Radar

If strategic plans are to animate and orient us, they must lay out an expansive view of the future, one that everyone can believe in and that is as realistic as possible. Traditionally an executive team at a company might have generated such a vision on their own.

But mobilizing everyone around this becomes an up-hill battle. The Trend Radar enables you to cast the web wider, picking up fresh ideas and buy-in.

Step 1: Bring together a diverse team of executives, front-line employees, and people from outside your company. They develop a long list of hypotheses capturing potential developments affecting your company.

Step 2: Shared the whole list of hypothesis with those involved in Step 1 (and possibly a even wider set of people), asking them to assess on a scale from 0 to 100

  • How likely is this to occur?
  • How big an impact would this have on your company?
  • How well are you prepared for this?

Step 3: Categories your hypothesis into bigger trends and display the results in your Trend Radar.

open strategy tools trend radar

Nightmare Competitor Contest

The nightmare competitor exercise helps you to think outside the box. You develop an imaginary competitor to be able to confront the unthinkable.

Step 1: Bring together a group of 30 to 60 people (half of them from inside and the other half from outside the company).

Step 2: Ask them to create newspaper headlines capturing disruptive trends that might affect your company. This gets them to think outside the box.

Step 3: Ask everyone to note down ideas for nightmare competitor ideas on a post-it note. Remember, these are imaginary companies that might disrupt your business. Once you collected all ideas, let every participant choose one idea.

Step 4: Set up small groups of 3 to 4 people. Each group picks one of the ideas of the participants to develop them in more detail.

Step 5: Present these ideas to everyone participating in the workshop and take a vote to reduce the ideas by 50 percent.

Step 6: Losing teams will join a winning one to develop a detailed business model for their nightmare competitor.

open strategy tools - nightmare competitor contest

Step 7: Pitch the fully developed nightmare competitor once again to all participants. For this stage the senior management team will also join. Conclude with a vote once more.

Step 8: Use the Nightmare Competitors as reflection point for your own strategy.

Strategy Jam

Barclays used a strategy jam to move a traditional retail bank into the digital age. Follow their lead and mobilize your workforce around a new strategy. Once you have clarity about the goals, identified workstreams, and built a web forum (you might want to get help for this), you ask your workforce to participate in a 48 hour online conference type setting, where they discuss what big picture ideas (both what it means for them and whether they would change anything). After the jam, make sure to analyse the data and communicate what will happen next.

open strategy tools - strategy jam
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