obstacle course

Strategy is defined by the obstacles we must overcome. If you have a goal you haven’t accomplished yet, there must be something stopping you from it, even if it’s just laziness. Use this exercise to outline each obstacle individually and identify ways to address them.

  1. Get a group of about 10 people (from different departments in your organization), plus yourself.
  2. Identify the goal you’re trying to accomplish. (e.g. increase year-over-year sales by 10%)
  3. As a group, brainstorm obstacles to achieving that goal (e.g. strong competition with similar product offering)
  4. Narrow it down to the top 5 obstacles that are preventing you from your goal.
  5. Assign 1 person to each obstacle and give them each different color post-it notes. They’ll be the Gate Keeper of the obstacle.
  6. Have the other 5 people pick 1 obstacle each. They’ll be the Runners going through the course.
  7. Runners need to brainstorm ways of how to overcome the obstacle. They write down ideas on the obstacle’s post-it notes, with the Gate Keeper reading them.
  8. When the Gate Keeper feels they’ve provided enough solutions to sufficiently overcome the obstacle, they can move on to the next obstacle.
  9. The Runner is finished when they’ve gone through each Obstacle.
  10. After everyone is done, go through all of the ideas and identify which ones you’ll work on implementing.