Red Teaming for Business Strategy: Five No-Nonsense Tips | Red Team Journal

If your competitors are red teaming you, they don’t want you to know, and they especially don’t want you to know how they do it. Here are five tips to help you beat them at their own game.

I particularily like these 2 tips:

2- Map the stakeholders (internal and external). Most old-style red teamers thought primarily in terms of RED (the attacker) and BLUE (the defender). Don’t fall into that trap; it’s so 20th century. One of the highest payoff activities you can undertake is to map the stakeholder system. This system includes not just the stakeholders but their beliefs, concerns, and metrics. Identify goals, and associate metrics with those goals. Note how your metrics may vary internally and externally. Note also how your competitors’ metrics vary from your own (assuming they do). Identify conflicts and agreements among beliefs and goals. Identify areas of uncertainty. Be open to surprises and “a-ha!” moments.


3- Staff and train your red team. Don’t “just wing it.” As with so many things in life, you get what you pay for, and if you try to red team on the cheap, yes, you’ll get what you pay for. Who should be on your red team? Staff up with people who know how things work in the real world and are willing to say the emperor has no clothes. “Yes men” and corporate clones are not welcome. Mid-level managers are risky: they often have too much to lose by speaking their minds. (Watch a couple episodes of the CBS show “Undercover Boss” to get a sense of how the front office and the front lines can see the world differently.)

Once you have the right people, teach them how to think. Train them in lateral thinking, systems thinking, creativity, and competitive intelligence. The Red Team Journal Laws of Red Teaming should give you some idea of what separates the superior red teamer from the inferior one. If you want to explore what it means to be a superior red teamer in practice, browse the “See It Like Jones Would” series of essays. Jones was an expert in scientific intelligence during World War II, but he would do just as well as a business strategy red teamer. When you browse the short essays, note how Jones thinks. The patterns are by no means limited to scientific intelligence.