Meet your nightmare competitor…

Meet your nightmare competitor: a challenger who disrupts the market. A rival that changes everything. An opponent who could destroy your entire business overnight.

Business thinker Gary Hamel once said:

“Out there in some garage, an entrepreneur is forging a bullet with your company’s name on it. Once that bullet leaves the barrel, you won’t be able to dodge it. You’ve got one option: you have to shoot first. You have to out-innovate the innovators.”

Fortunately, your company is alive and kicking. You still have the opportunity to kill first.

But who to kill when there is no sign of your nightmare competitor? Well… maybe you should kill your own company.

One way to prevent your company’s assassination is to attack your own organisation first. In hindsight it’s always easy to see where it went wrong. The moment your company gets killed you realise what you should have done differently. So why not start your innovation journey with your company’s end in mind?

Kill your company
Hold a brainstorm with your team and create your nightmare competitor. Put together the monster that will put you out of business. Hunt for outrageous ideas and keep it fun.

Imagine that you’re in charge of your nightmare competitor. What would you do to kill your company?

What would you DO that your company is currently not doing? What would you NOT do that your company is currently doing? What silly rules would you kill?

How would you do things if there where no restrictions (budget, rules, time schedules, clients, etc.) What actions would you take if everything was possible? Who would you hire? What extra services would you offer?

What would your clients say about your nightmare competitor? What would your employees say?

Have fun realising your worst nightmare. Employees love to kill their company. This exercise will liberate them from political constraints and silly rules. It gives them a great excuse to come up with outrageous ideas and it will give them an ‘out-of-company experience’.

After the brainstorm you will have a lot of ideas to put yourself out of business with. What are you going to do with those ideas? Do you dare to put your nightmare competitor into the market or do you prefer to use the ideas to improve your existing company?

Whatever you choose, creating your nightmare competitor is a great exercise and will give you lots of ideas on how to realise innovation.

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Flickr Creative Commons Image via aussiegall.

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Geschiedenis als bron van innovatie - Look at the past