Realising and predicting forthcoming event and problems in the running of a business is key to the organisations success. Business wargaming strategists will provide an unprecedented level of security and help with development for the future, allowing for growth and best practice within those companies.
This article was written and published by Northern Insight Magazine for their December 2016 issue.
Chris Paton served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines with distinguished service. While serving, he came to realise wargaming strategies within the military could be adapted to provide relevant techniques within a business context and began his company Quirk Solutions.
“It’s all about pressure testing plans and strategies. The object being to create quality procedures and preempt problems before they start.”
Many companies write plans for the direction their business is to develop in, then never roll it out and react when things start to go wrong. At that stage remedying the situation in crisis management mode becomes very expensive and time consuming. Making a good plan at the beginning allows you to determine risk and opportunity, not originally thought of.
Quirk’s Wargaming Approach
At Quirk Solutions they take a broad view of how clients can look to the future. Creating red and blue teams of relevant parties – they use both these groups to stress test the future plan. The red team is made up of stakeholders who champion the plan while the Blue team is made up of suppliers, customers, employees and even outside agencies. The red team take a plan, strategy or issue they wish to test and then work out all the issues surrounding it. The blue team, react accordingly to the proposed plan or strategy, giving a critical appraisal of the red team’s presentation. The wargame is facilitated by an impartial member of the Quirk Solutions team, advising how a particular stakeholder has reacted to the plan. It gives the red team the opportunity to decided whether they will change or adapt the plan based on what they’ve heard.
For any business the wargaming scenario allows individuals to look at second and third effects which might happen, rather than simply concentrating on the obvious which may happen. It’s a strategy Chris has promoted while working with the likes of Downing Street, Shell and Waitrose, among others.
“The advantages of all this, means a client can look, three months, six months or even a year in advance and be able to predict with a reasonable amount of accuracy future outcomes,” Chris advises. “They will be able to mitigate or even eliminate possible risks altogether. It’s all about predictability and planning.”
This ability to bring decision making forward means that when a plan comes unstuck, as all plans do, to varying degrees, confidence is high and a coherent plan to deal with the situation is in place.
Foresight and agility are the two key words which characterise the process of business wargaming. Since the advent of Quirk Solutions, Chris has been inundated with enquiries for the unique service the company provides. He travels the country and globally, outlining what Quirk’s business wargaming strategies can do for businesses, from corporate organisations to SMEs.
“Business size is irrelevant with this type of approach to problem solving. It’s a stakeholder driven approach to improve business and make life as easy and risk free as possible for the people who work within a company.”