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Business War-Gaming with Chris Paton

Clare Elliott, 4th October 2016

A former Royal Marine officer, Chris Paton is now a strategy expert & the UK’s leading business war-gaming exponent.  Chris discussed what wargaming is, how to go about it, why organisations should give it a go and what they can learn from it.


Chris Paton is a strategy expert & the UK’s leading business war-gaming exponent. A former Royal Marine who served as the Senior Strategy Adviser on Afghanistan to the MoD, Chris now helps organisations and individuals to optimise their planning procedures to ensure that their goals are achieved.

In an organisational context, war games ‘stress test’ plans to identify potential risks and opportunities. The beauty of this technique, Chris says, is that it gets all the stakeholders in a room at the same time and breaks down inter-departmental and cross-functional barriers. The process not only improves planning, it also improves communication between the various stakeholders.

War gaming is particularly effective at helping organisations understand risks and issues that they may or may not have foreseen and assess how significant these are. In that sense it provides foresight – identifying what issues will need to be monitored in future and what decisions will need to be made moving forward.

The process is valuable in both an operational and transformational environment. In a change management context, for example, a game can be set up so that the blue team represents the ‘change’ and the red team comprise the stakeholders who will be affected by it. This gives those stakeholders an active role and insight into how the change will actually affect them so that when the process goes ahead for real, they are already familiar with what’s going to happen.

During a planning cycle, war gaming can provide options, analysis and ‘health checks’ before any resources are released. But it’s also increasingly being used by private equity firms who want to look beyond P&L before committing to an investment in an organisation.

Please contact WBMS if you are interested in learning more.


Contact Us

To discuss how WBMS can help your business deliver your customer agenda, contact Clare Elliott at clare.elliott@WBMSglobal.com or +44 20 7621 3573 to arrange an introduction.


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