“I’m constantly thinking, ‘How can I destroy this?’ when I’m planning a mission.” — from an interview with a retired Army Ranger.
Try this “Special Forces” alternative to conventional risk analysis. Look at your business model, internal organization design, and processes from the point of view of a lethal attacker who wants to destroy, disrupt, and paralyze your operation.
- What are the obvious weak points for entry?
- Where are your security controls predictable and easy to guess?
- Where are the points-of-failure in your supply chains? Where do you have vulnerabilities with partners and suppliers?
- What communication channels (internal, you to suppliers, customers to you) could be disrupted and cause a business loss?
- If a confusing situation arose, will your employees know how to handle the uncertainty?
- Where is your process execution inconsistent, or overly dependent on a single person?
- Where do you have time sensitivities, such that delays will create a business loss?
- What if someone else captures your operational tempo?
- Who could be bribed or intimidated? How would you know?
Andy Groves, former Intel CEO, famously said, “Only the paranoid survive.” Amazon sets up their best people in teams to create functionality and services better than Amazon’s current offerings. It’s better to disrupt yourself.
Step back from your day-to-day insider perspective. View everything in your organization with an eye toward disruption. Your competition is already doing this.