How Would I Put Myself out of Business Today?

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In fall of 2016, I learned about a simple technique to explore business weaknesses with your team. Ask them this: “If you were a competitor, how would could you put us out of business?”

I was very excited about this at the time — I shared it with clients, used it with Group Dynamic, and made some changes as a result. I don’t remember the weaknesses we found or the great ideas that came out of it, but I remember it being fruitful.

I hadn’t posed this question or even thought about the technique in quite some time. I love it when I look back at some old writing that I’ve totally forgotten about… it’s almost like discovering something new! So, I’ll put this to my team again at our next quarterly meeting.

I really like the last version of the question in the original post: “If you left us and started a competing business, how would you crush us in the marketplace, based on your inside knowledge?”

The timing is good for this question as we wrap up 2023 and look ahead to 2024. I really think it holds up.

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