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November 27, 2019

Podcast #564: Assault Your Assumptions Through Red Teaming

We live in an age of disruption. Companies that were once stalwarts are overtaken by small, plucky upstarts. Our personal lives can also be disrupted. We lose a job or a business fails. 

My guest today says that instead of waiting to be disrupted by outside forces, you’re better off using techniques developed by intelligence agencies and the military to disrupt yourself first. His name is Bryce Hoffman and he’s the author of the book Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything. We begin our show discussing what red teaming is and the history of its development, from wargaming by 19th century Prussians to more sophisticated techniques developed by the US military during the war on terrorism. Bryce and I discuss the hidden biases that red teaming is designed to counter, and then get into the specific red teaming techniques you can start using today to challenge your assumptions, stress-test your strategies, identify unseen threats, and make better decisions in both your personal life and your business.

Show Highlights

  • What is “red teaming”?
  • How the failures of 9/11 brought the idea of red teaming to the forefront 
  • How Prussians developed the idea of war games and the early concept of red teaming 
  • How red teaming has greatly enhanced America’s defense systems
  • The ways that businesses — large and small alike — use these concepts 
  • What are the biggest errors people and organizations tend to make in their decision making?
  • What Adam Smith got wrong with his rational choice theory 
  • The biases and heuristics that lead us astray 
  • Using red teaming ideas in your personal life 
  • What is a key assumptions check?
  • The power of red teaming in a group 
  • What are the four ways of seeing?
  • What’s a pre-mortem?
  • How do you bring up contrarian views without stepping on toes?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Bryce

RedTeamThinking.com

Bryce’s website

Bryce on Twitter

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Read the Transcript

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