Free Up Your Mind to Free Up Your Strategy

Unlocking Fresh Thinking

Games could improve our strategy and strategic thinking? If you consider games frivolous, think again. Games can actually strengthen our thinking skills. This was demonstrated by the Boston Consulting Group, whereby, they describe 10 games. These games were largely thought experiments – for the business audience, as well as how to play for best results.

So have you considered how gameplay could unlock fresh thinking and “pre-emptive self-disruption” in your life?

Mind-blown yet?

Games can jolt complacent companies toward “pre-emptive self-disruption” and counterfactual thinking by imagining the world as it could be, not as it is. Thinking counterfactually enables people to invent new products, services and business models; predict risks and threats; and spot new prospects. And games can show a way past “entrenched interests” and build a sense of urgency to drive change.

10 strategies to strengthen strategy

Either singly or in combination, these 10 games help strengthen strategy:

1. “Strategy Palette

Running a virtual lemonade stand, players encounter diverse competition scenarios and must change their approach to thrive. The game makes the case for a range of approaches to strategy and execution.

2. “Invert Your Company

Identify assumptions in your business model and turn those assumptions on their head. Decide how your firm would operate in each dramatically different scenario.

3. “Maverick Battle

List competitors with different business models and envision a future where one becomes a powerful threat. Describe how your firm would develop to stay apace the maverick.

4. “Destroy Your Business

Mentally position yourself outside your firm, as its disruptor. Identify a business model that would best destroy an aspect of your business.

5. “Bad Customer

Talk to consumers who don’t use your offering or don’t like your business model. Adopt their perspective and determine how you’d adapt your business model to please these “bad customers.”

6. “Activist Attack

Reimagine your firm from scratch, including only the essentials. You’ll gain perspective about what’s superfluous.

7. “Fix Your Customer’s Life

Define where your firm has an impact on customers’ lives. Focus on that area of impact to fulfil an unsolved human need. 

8. “Frictions

Imagine a frictionless customer experience and how to prioritize big, easy improvements. Elaborate a business model around the superior customer experience. 

9. “Heroic Press Conference”

Pretend that your firm is holding a press conference to celebrate a winning venture. Describe what you’d communicate about the company and what effort the imagined success required.

10. “Pre-Emptive Postmortem

Assess how business catastrophes would affect your firm to reveal weaknesses in your strategy and determine how best to address them.


  • Games designed for business people can jolt complacent companies toward “pre-emptive self-disruption” and new thinking. 
  • Consider engaging your organization in 10 relevant games and thought experiments before tackling strategy.
  • The games are effective either singly or in combination.
  • Games strengthen counterfactual thinking, a mind-set that enables people to innovate, predict risks and threats, and spot new prospects.
  • Games can show a way past “entrenched interests” and build the urgency that drives meaningful change.

Author: Muhamad Aarif

A notorious book addict by night and an oil and gas executive by day. As Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." So, read, read, and read some more.

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