Stress test your ideas before they launch.
The premise of a premortem is simple. Those close to adopting a new initiative—say, a strategic plan, a new compensation system or a similarly consequential issue—are asked to imagine themselves a year hence when the initiative has failed miserably. Everyone is invited to take a few minutes writing down the reasons it failed.
The rationale is to change the dynamic from trying to avoid any issue that might disrupt harmonious agreement on the initiative to challenging people to identify potential problems and bring them into the open. The immediate beneficial consequence is to invite adjustments or fine-tuning to the initiative that will help increase its odds of success. And, if one of the identified obstacles later arises, you have a plan and an approach. (The formality of premortems make them far more effective than the casually posed “let’s play Devil’s advocate for a few minutes.”)
At Adam Smith, Esq., we conduct Premortems in a workshop format (directed by us), which is an effective and efficient approach to raise and discuss potential pitfalls – developing action plans to address the most threatening.
The goal is to help firms make better decisions.