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Red hat

Red hat attempts to forecast the actions of others.

Uses of the method

  • Competitor/adversary analysis

Benefits

  • Puts the analyst in their opponents shoes
  • May help gain a more accurate understanding of the opponents likely actions/reactions
  • Stimulates fresh thinking and generates new perspectives

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to know another's mind
  • Situations often change the desired actions of an opponent
  • Can be biased by the analysts worldview

Steps to complete

  • Establish an expert panel with deep knowledge of the adversary
  • Develop a challenge about the adversary's current position and likely desires
  • Challenge the experts to develop alternatives about how the adversary might respond to the challenge
  • Summarize as likely strategies that the adversary could adopt
  • Determine the most likely strategy. [Use Delphi analysis to rank, sort and determine experts views on the most likely]
  • Assess the impact of this strategy on your organization
  • Capture your most exciting idea and biggest fear 
  • Determine the fixed elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variable i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?
  • Develop next steps and determine if any further research required

Collaboration
This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Further reference

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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