Rivalries provides a method of examining the strengths and weaknesses of existing and potential stakeholders (adversaries, allies and other actors) to determine who the future competition might be and then how to become that competition or reduce or eliminate the stakeholders influence.

Uses of the method

  • Identify stakeholders' future plans and strategies
  • Forecast likely stakeholder reactions to your initiatives
  • Spot stakeholders strengths and weaknesses
  • Find ways to exploit gaps in their strategy
  • Strengthen your own response
  • Spot possibilities for collaboration 
  • Become the best future competitor


  • Proactive, outward understanding of the external climate
  • Forewarning and therefore early preparation for stakeholder future actions
  • Hidden opportunities and risks uncovered  that can lead to increased innovation
  • Timely, concise and relevant to all parts of an organization


  • Copying other strategies can lead to 'me too' and follow the leader
  • May miss the emergence of new stakeholders

Steps to complete

  • Complete the template as though you were the CEO of the stakeholder. Try to put yourself in their shoes, take off any blinkers and see the world from their perspective. Read the Worldview here before and after your completion of the template to check for, and reduce, bias.
  • Stick to analyzing the situation from an 'if this happens then this may follow' position leaving policy and decision recomenndations to the end or for decision-makers to determine later.
  • Capture your most exciting idea and biggest fear
  • Determine the fixed factors (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Now envision likely scenarios (using the scenario tool) using your rivals and your likely future positions. Assess key success factors in each scenario. Identify common options and differentiators (key success factors) to create your preferred future.  Rank and rate your competitors in order of likely future success.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
  • State alternative hypotheses drawn with different assumptions and judgments.
  • Consider what factors would likely change your mind through receipt of new information.
  • Determine which factors could surprise and alter your judgment and the direction of the outcome.
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?

Keep watching your stakeholders and update your analysis as strategic changes are noticed.

This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Lead Facilitator

This tool is best used with a trained consultant in attendance first time out and maybe beyond.

We recommend the person who invented this fast method to help you find the right facilitator as follows:

Dr. Mike Jackson

Further reference

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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