Sometimes a company’s strengths can quickly turn into weaknesses. For example, a small and seemingly unimportant rival might figure out how to use your firm’s size against you. Here’s an exercise to help you look for threats and opportunities where you hadn’t realized they exist.
First, divide your employees into two teams. Ask Team A to list your company’s strengths and Team B to list its weaknesses. Then have the teams swap lists. Ask Team B to argue that the strengths are actually threats to the organization’s future, and Team A to argue that the weaknesses are opportunities. Next, do an external analysis: Ask Team A to list the strengths it sees in your competition, and Team B the weaknesses. Again, have the team’s swap lists and make the counterarguments.
The goal of this exercise is to open your, and your employees’, eyes to new possibilities — and guard against sudden changes that could mean trouble for your company.