Mirror Test

Mirror Test

Innovation Skills
30 minutes

Put yourself in the shoes of your competitor, or your opposite number. If you were them, and imagine they know everything about you and your weaknesses. What would they do with that information? How would they capitalise?


This technique is drawn from a quote by football manager Jose Mourinho: "Everyone knows everything about everybody, so you have to be cleverer in the analysis." By subjecting your business to brutal analysis, you reveal weaknesses that you can fix.
In Detail

This is a technique from the book Winners, by Alistair Campbell. In the book, Campbell interviews football coach Jose Mourinho, and they talk about how to get ahead in a game where everything is analysed and shared and in the public knowledge.

Mourinho says: "Everyone knows everything about everybody, so you have to be cleverer in the analysis."

So - assume everyone knows everything the same. What would you do to get ahead? A technique Campbell suggests is called the Mirror Test. He talks about an example of when he was working for Tony Blair in the run-up to an

He says of the opposition party: "If we were them analysing us, assuming they had the same information about us that we do, what would we do with that information?"

He says: "It was important that we were better at working out our weaknesses than they were, because then we could hopefully do something about fixing them before they got onto them."

So, we invite groups to try this for themselves. Subject yourself to brutal analysis. What are your weaknesses and how might you go about fixing them?

Do it for your business. Are there things you wouldn't want your competition to know about your situation? What can you do to fix them?


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