De-brief obtains competitive and market information and impressions from those who have just left a rival or related firm to join your organization.

Uses of the method

  • Insider information on competitor strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Knowledge of rivals' and related firms emerging strategies


  • Verification or otherwise of other competitive analysis
  • Early warning of competitor strategies and forthcoming market initiatives
  • Fast, low cost, easy to do


  • Interviewee may be biased or offer only incomplete or wrong information
  • Needs verification through the other methods here

Steps to complete

  • Establish a process with the HR team to be notified whenever joiners arrive from a pre-determined list of rival companies, regulators, suppliers etc.
  • Ask to interview joiners whatever their level within their previous organization
  • Use the template to ask your open-ended questions of their experiences. Do not put pressure on them or ask closed questions which they feel obliged to answer to make you happy.
  • After the interview list the most exciting  and the most feared idea you have elicited from the interview.
  • 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.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization.
    • 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?
  • Finish by noting your next steps. Next steps could include a further round of iteration, a recommendation on how to get the answers or use of other research and methods such as 'Starburst' to create more vantage points on the issue.

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.

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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