How to get ahead of the game: Wargaming for business

Rather than simply reacting to shifting trends and changing consumer behaviours, businesses can find ways to get ahead of the game, says Björn Dufwenberg who heads up STRAT7 Advisory.

In this blog we explain the concept of wargaming and how this approach can help navigate uncertainty and envision future market landscapes.

If you’re face-to-face with a lion, it’s already too late… 

Making predictions is crucial for businesses to avoid being caught off guard by shifting trends, competitor strategies and changing customer behaviours.

In today’s interconnected and rapidly changing global marketplace, traditional approaches are no longer sufficient. Businesses must view these shifts as opportunities for growth and innovation.

Rather than being defensive and reactive, organisations are better served by actively seeking ways to leverage emerging trends and customer preferences to their advantage.

To achieve this, traditional human-centric methods (market research and customer feedback), must be combined with innovative tools and technologies to provide the right foresight.

Integrating predictive analytics into strategic planning processes allows businesses to assess scenarios and identify potential inflection points, making it possible to develop multiple plans, capitalise on opportunities and mitigate risks.

Time for a cultural shift 

By combining analytical approaches with creative thinking, it is possible to more effectively navigate uncertainty and envision future market landscapes.

It is this sort of thinking, which leverages market inflection points at the perfect moment, that has propelled businesses such as Uber, Amazon and Tesla. They flipped the logic of their categories by better understanding future trends.

Wargaming, as the name suggests, a methodology most typically used in military strategy, is a good analogy for such a process. By using predictive analytics to simulate different and realistic scenarios and considering the potential outcomes, organisations can effectively anticipate change and make proactive decisions to steer towards the most desirable scenario.

This approach allows businesses to stress-test their strategies, identify vulnerabilities and risks, and explore different options. It’s a process that encourages critical thinking, collaboration and flexibility, enabling teams to be better prepared in the context of a rapidly changing business environment.

It has the power to bring together individuals from different departments and levels of expertise, fostering a collective intelligence that can uncover unique insights and innovative ideas. By breaking down silos and encouraging open dialogue, businesses can leverage the diverse perspectives of their teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape.

Making it happen 

To successfully implement such a process, organisations need to invest in the necessary resources and expertise. As a first step, speak to our experts in strategic foresight and scenario planning who have the capability to guide teams through the process, ensuring that the exercises are well-designed, relevant, and yield actionable insights.

It is also important for businesses to recognise that scenario planning in this fashion is not a one-time event but an ongoing practice. By their nature, markets are dynamic, and new challenges and opportunities will continue to arise. By regularly revisiting and updating their scenario planning exercises, organisations can stay ahead of the curve and adapt their strategies as needed.

The world continues to change, but the businesses that embrace this new approach will be better equipped to navigate its complexities. It is an investment in long-term success and a testament to an organisation’s commitment to innovation and adaptability. And it must be embraced – because the future only belongs to those who are prepared.


If you would like to chat ‘wargaming strategies’ for you and your business, please get in touch.