If you are in an adversarial/competitive business or an environment
where you have to compete for scarce resources, how do you
equitably evaluate the various courses of action open to you?
How do you know whether your strategy is truly comprehensive,
integrated, adaptive and networked?
How do you test your plans before you execute them?
How do you rehearse the roles, objectives and governance of those
charged with the execution of the strategy?
Who plays the role of your adversary, your competition, or your clients?
How is your plan put under stress in order to reduce risk in execution?
How is the feedback presented to your executive leadership?
What separates a great plan from a self-fulfilling prophecy?
When I was a young officer I once complained about how we wargamed and rehearsed plans until we were blue in the face. I remember my CO giving me one of those jaundiced looks and he said, 'Lieutenant, which investment do you think is more prudent? Time and sweat here, or blood and tears on the battlefield?' I think the private sector equivalent would be 'Time and sweat now in our corporate HQ, or money and tears later in the marketplace".
© Strategic Red Team Consulting, 2011-2016
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At SRTC, we believe that intelligence, strategy, planning, and execution, are HUMAN ACTIVITIES and the true test of those things can only be accomplished with human beings in the loop. Ideally, the players should be the very people that will have to make critical decisions in the execution of your plan.
How did we do it in the military? Simply, we wargamed every course of action before committing to battle and we have customized this discipline for the commercial sector with our entry-level Strategic Wargaming for Business Exercise and our more advanced Strategic Red Teaming Exercise.
WARGAME HINDSIGHT becomes BUSINESS FORESIGHT
Business Wargames are disciplined, real-time, action-reaction, role-playing leadership exercises that pit your key real-life decision makers and managers (Blue Team) against real-time competitive adversaries (Red Team). This methodology is also an outstanding risk mitigation exercise, a fantastic confidence builder, an exercise of discovery for leadership, a mechanism of voice for your teams, and an instrument of real-time organizational learning for all, thereby improving your ability to compete and win in the marketplace. Disciplined wargaming facilitates:
Evaluating courses of action to recommend a distinct plan of action to corporate leadership;
Levering rehearsals as a comprehensive exercise under conditions of extreme competitive stress
to test critical plans prior to execution;
Reinforcing Unity of Thought, Purpose and Action throughout your corporate team through
action/reaction/counter-reaction role playing;
Visualizing of the flow of business operations, given joint strengths, weaknesses, dispositions, capabilities
and possible courses of actions available to business actors in a given business sector and environment.
In our Wargaming Exercise there are 3 teams:
The BLUE TEAM is populated by the real people, leaders and managers that will be responsible and accountable for the execution of your actual plan. We would advise that the members of your Blue Team are confined to the actual decision makers needed to validate the execution of your strategy or plan. This is not meant to be a test exercise to put particular individuals under the gun. Rather, it is to promote realism and to ensure your real time leaders and managers are afforded that “exercise of discovery” and “mechanism of voice” during the after-action review.
The RED TEAM represents your adversaries, your competition, your commercial environment - anything that you have determined as a critical vulnerability, opportunity or a possible impact on your plan. In essence, for every Blue Team decision maker, there is a Red Teamer providing a degree of realistic “competitive action”. To keep the costs down, for the Corporate Wargaming option we would recommend that the majority of the Red Team is drawn from the ranks of your own company and supplemented by a few SRTC Red Team mentors to provide guidance and to ensure that the interaction is realistic and learning based. Drawing from your own company’s expertise has the advantages of keeping costs down by using your own pool of expertise; utilizing your existing corporate “esprit de corps” and reducing the perception of being tested by outsiders.
The WHITE TEAM Leader is the workshop facilitator and the team (2-3 people) is predominantly comprised of STRC members and the Client Sponsor for the exercise. The White Team designs and customizes the wargame to the client’s needs, advises in determining the participants, designs the master events list and wargame products, records results and assists the client in the after-action review. Most importantly, the White Team are the enforcers who ensure that interaction in the wargame is realistic and that the feedback is honest. The White Team also ensures that nobody cheats and it maintains discipline with draconian glee (Red Teams are notorious cheaters.... and all White Teamers are experienced ex-Red Team Leaders - so they know all the tricks).
Wargaming Exercises are extremely flexible in terms of time, effort and participation. These can be simple one day workshops targeted towards examining a particular course of action, staff construct, or business scenario - to a multi-day event that covers a complete plan or spectrum of events from your competitive business enterprise. You can have a series of one day events (one per competitor) or a multi-day exercise that pits you against your entire competitive environment. In short, we design each Wargaming Exercise to be uniquely scaled and customized to your company's strategic decision support needs. For futher amplification, there are PowerPoint slide packages available on our Media site.
SRTC also has customized Wargames already built for exploring unique challenges such as Change Management, Cultural Resistance to Change, Institutional Inertia, Corporate Unity, Commercial Intelligence, Corporate Counter-Espionage, Physical Security, Information Security, Brand Protection, etc. Feel free to contact us for further information.
.......and if you find our STRATEGIC WARGAMING to be a little tame, we suggest that you explore options for our STRATEGIC RED TEAM EXERCISE.