WARGAMING

For centuries, wargames have been the preferred technique of the world’s most successful militaries for managing crises and discovering new opportunities.

“I am a strong believer in if you’re going to develop a vision or a strategic plan for the future of a company that you have to engage the organization in doing that…it can’t be just the CEO or top 10 executives sitting in a sterile conference room.”

Richard Clark, CEO of Merck and Co. / 2007 – 2011 

A wargame is a role-played simulation of a business situation.

Wargaming is a multiple-move simulation exercise that helps mitigate risk and uncover opportunity by allowing participants to experience—and to learn to cope with—potential future market conditions, competitors, disruptors and “Black Swan” challenges. Situations and variables can be manipulated to learn how sensitive a business is to specific changes.

 

Why Engage in wargaming?

  • Tool of particular value when the competitive environment is undergoing a process of rapid or disruptive change.
  • Allows decision makers to consider proactively how competition might react to dynamic change, and to their own company’s actions.
  • Provides a comprehensive assessment of the competitive landscape.

Forward looking. Dynamic. Realistic.

Wargaming offers a comprehensive assessment of the competitive landscape.
It does not predict the future: it identifies potential futures.

Result: Leadership experiences potential futures NOW, at very low cost. 

An actual game takes one to two days, with a complete “cycle time” for preparation, analysis and recommendations of six to eight weeks.

Wargaming Examples of Success

Hindsight from Wargames Becomes Foresight in Reality

1873 / Franco-Prussian War

Prussia’s Von Moltke relied on wargaming to integrate new technologies, develop a strategy for his inferior force to defeat the French Army, and train his officer corps to think and adapt in the field.

1890-1930’s / US Navy War Plan Orange
Through rigorous wargaming, the US Naval War College developed a campaign plan to defeat Japan that included development of needed technology, focusing of peacetime intelligence, and training of leadership.
1930’s / Blitzkrieg
The German Army used wargaming to develop operational concepts and devise select technologies that allowed them to overcome superior numbers in France, North Africa, and Russia.
1944 / D-Day

Group of 150 wargamers established to independently parallel the planning staff. Seven hundred key issues identified. Thirty percent of issues identified manifested during the invasion…but commanders had branch plans and insight to successfully adapt.

1953 / Project Solarium

President Eisenhower used wargaming to evaluate various strategies that would provide the US an advantage over the USSR without changing the character of our political or economic systems: nuclear deterrence was born.

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