Today, most — if not all — established corporations live with the gnawing fear that there is another Uber out there just waiting to disrupt their industry. Red Teaming is the cure for this anxiety. The term was coined by the U.S. Army, which has developed the most comprehensive and effective approach to Red Teaming in the world today in response to the debacles of its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the roots of Red Teaming run very deep: to the Roman Catholic Church’s “Office of the Devil’s Advocate,” to the Kriegsspiel of the Prussian General Staff and to the secretive AMAN organization, Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. In this book, author Bryce Hoffman shows business how to use the same techniques to better plan for the uncertainties of today’s rapidly changing economy.
Red Teaming is both a set of analytical tools and a mindset. It is designed to overcome the mental blind spots and cognitive biases that all of us fall victim to when we try to address complex problems. The same heuristics that allow us to successfully navigate life and business also cause us to miss or ignore important information. It is a simple and provable fact that we do not know what we do not know. The good news is that, through Red Teaming, we can find out.
In this book, Hoffman shows how the most innovative and disruptive companies, such as Google and Toyota, already employ some of these techniques organically. He also shows how many high-profile business failures, including those that sparked the Great Recession, could easily have been averted by using these approaches. Most importantly, he teaches leaders how to make Red Teaming part of their own planning process, laying the foundation for a movement that will change the way America does business.
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