Predator Eats Zombies For Breakfast

Predator: for when Zombie just won't cut it!

Have you ever woken up in a meeting at work and wondered just how you got there? You can remember waking up at home, washing, eating breakfast, cleaning your teeth and heading for the front-door and then the rest is a blur. Somehow you got to here, this meeting, but you don't remember the journey or the decisions you made in driving or getting on the train. It's all gone. And you realise firstly that it is possible to complete a sequence of complex but routine activities without being consciously aware of the experience, that a robot-like mind took over. The second thought is that what if that robot or Zombie mind had been faced with a decision that involved complexity or sudden response to new stimulus? Would your Zombie have saved you, or would you have become another sad statistic on the evening news?

That morning journey to work, or that evening commute home can disappear within an acquired routine that gets you through a largely predictable phase. But what do you do when the middle piece of the day becomes much of a piece with the routine journey to and from work, when the Zombie has taken over and you stop noticing that the environment is in flux, the market is dynamic, old models of working are dead that your business isn't growing, people are going through the motions in your stage-gate decision-making meetings and they think that they are working effectively? 

The conventional response to a shift in circumstance is often to work harder, to lay off people, to reduce variety, focus on core activities, to lie up like bear waiting for the Spring weather; and to hope that the good old days will return. But they don't. They never will. But the Zombie seeks certainty in old habits of not learning, of staying clumsy instead of agile and consuming people's talents and energy in temporary solutions instead of considering the possibility the Zombie won't get you through this phase and before you know it, the thing you least wanted to happen is in front of you and there's no way out.

But there is a solution to Zombie patterns of work and thinking, and it's called Predator.  
Predator™ is an accelerated innovation technique based on a simple law of success in the business jungle: instead of waiting for the competitor to emerge who changes the rules within the market, you can protect yourself from danger by building yourself a predator who is smarter than you by anticipating their arrival strategy, and choosing to become your own predator and changing the rules of the game before they get changed for you by someone else.

Predator™ – Unlocking Hidden Potential Value and Managing Emergent Risk in Your Business


Sometimes we get too close to our work to understand the full potential for unlocking hidden value and managing potential future competitive risk.  We’re often very busy working the way we’ve always done. Innovation isn’t just about thinking and doing new things, it’s also a social and political act. Predator ™ helps us to build consensus and detailed proposals to reconfigure our work for what is just around the corner and provide a basis for challenging the status-quo through a shared language and experience.

Victor Newman’s Predator™ is an accelerated innovation technique based on a simple law of success in the business jungle: instead of waiting for the competitor to emerge who changes the rules within the market, by anticipating their arrival strategy, you can protect yourself from danger and maybe even change the rules of the game before they do.

So how does Predator™ work, what happens?


1 Visualise the Predator™              

Construct a “smarter” competitor who is not like you, who does not share any of your legacy emotions, technologies, customers, suppliers or associations about your business.

2 Put on the Predator’s Mask to Visualise the Types of Attacks/ Shifts in Market

Assume the Predator ™ role to visualise the type of attacks that could make your products or processes obsolete, severely reduce their market value, alienate key customer segments or make your value-chain unworkable.

3 Do the Predator Dance: Structure the Attack/ Market-Shift Strategy

Predator attacks are then individually visualised and re-ordered as a complete, explicit sequence of set-piece attacks with specific objectives. 

4 Anticipate the Predator’s Moves and Timing: Develop Pre-emptive Retaliation

Participants review the Predator attack-sequence and develop antidote tactics that pre-empt the Predator's Attack Strategy.  These can be modelled within an EEM (Ease and Effect Matrix) to facilitate prioritisation.

5 Take off the Predator Mask: Review Predator Exercise Outputs

Reviewing and prioritising antidote tactics and sharing personal insights (what were the surprises, what’s been learnt and what new thing are they going to do as a result?).

Who should attend Predator Sessions?

Leaders committed to growing their businesses, or leaders of business units or departments, interested in anticipating change.

Benefits to you and your business

  • Anticipating change before it happens.
  • Identifying potential risk and plan strategies to manage it.
  • Locating hidden assets and build timely strategies to exploit these
  • Learning to listen to your inner Predator: to work with your intuition to create new freedoms to innovate.
  • Committing to action: working on what is changeable and how to make it happen.

Comments from 2 Predator™ Users

“Running the Predator ™ process with a team planning the launch of a new pharmaceutical product revealed hidden issues which culminated in significant improvements in the launch plan and associated cost savings of $30M.” (Keith Brockbank: Brockbank Plaut Consulting Ltd.)
“Operating a rapidly-developing Group of companies, all with a high market share, the Predator ™ programme was run with the senior management team and very quickly identified the key areas to focus the strategic plan upon whilst gaining full ‘buy-in’ from all involved”. (Nigel Patrick: MD, Cawood Scientific Ltd.)
(A generic insight from participants is the realisation that day-to-day life in the organisation has blinded everyone to the real “potential” value hidden within the business, and that the Predator™ strategy that they developed for themselves has identified real knowledge assets and the need to exploit these consistently and in novel ways).

Workshop Leader: Professor Victor Newman

Industrial Fellow at the University of Greenwich’s Centre for Innovation, Imagination & Inspiration, mentor to SILK and currently working with Cisco Global IT Innovation on innovation eco-system strategies for the $14.4T “Internet of Things” (future potential of embedded sensors across the internet). Recent work includes practice-mapping for FT100 customers’ innovation and improvement change leaders, contributor and adviser to Pure Insight's International Innovation Leadership Programme on the topics of Innovation Leadership and effective Stage Gate NPD meetings. Recent executive roles have included Head of Innovation Strategy & Economics at The Technology Strategy Board, Chief Learning Officer to Pfizer Global R&D and Director of Innovation to Innovoflow and Mind Fit Ltd.

Victor has invented several innovation techniques including: Baton=Passing, Predator™, Helicopter Leadership, and Breakout Benchmarking. He has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, been included in Harvard’s “Fifty Lessons” interviews with 200 of the world’s most respected business leaders, and featured in the Wall Street Journal.
His most recent book is “Power House: Strategic Knowledge Management – Insights, Practical Tools & Techniques” available via



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