!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: What questions should a devil's advocate ask?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What questions should a devil's advocate ask?

Suppose your company has developed a new strategy, and you've been given the job of serving as devil's advocate (or as a member of a strategy review panel). How should you go about probing the strategy's soundness?

In an article in the September issue of the Harvard Business Review, Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui suggest a half dozen questions to ask:
  • Is this a realistic strategy for long-term success?

  • What can we learn from history?

  • Do vital information and dissenting views about strategies reach decision makers?

  • Have we assessed the true advantages — and liabilities — that come with scale?

  • Have we considered all our options?

  • Would we bet on it?
Once answers to these and any other relevant questions have been carefully discussed, the devil's advocate (or review panel) prepares a report of its findings. A company that believes in intelligent risk management will take the findings seriously in deciding whether the draft strategy requires revision.


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