Wargaming at RECONVERGE:G2
A competitive simulation tests the theory of business.

Thursday morning brought an exciting opportunity for Reconverge attendees to participate in a war game simulation.  Dr. Craig Fleisher and Tim Storm of Aurora WDC described the exercise and offered advice to attendees.

Three tracks were: healthcare, food, and money.  There is also a market team who serves as the customer.

In wargaming, said Storm, “play to win, be mean and nasty, steal your competitors ideas to make yours better.”    His advice is not to hold back ideas.

Why a wargaming exercise?

“The theory of the business has to be tested constantly.  It is not graven on tablets of stone.  It is a hypothesis.”  –Peter Drucker

This will give us a better understanding of the customer—and wargaming is an exercise to provide insights from the customers’ point of view.

The simulations are predictive, and looking for what you’re capable of doing, not just what companies are capable of.

Interaction is important.  It allows opportunity to respond and react, and to notice dynamics within the teams; purchasing, partnering, and mergers and acquisitions are examples of interactions that could occur.

Home teams typically do poorly when doing a wargame, Storm noted.  This is because judges at home teams know what’s going on and will allow competition to have more freedom.

The objective of the simulation is to learn where these three industries will go in the face of changing technologies.

Strategic planning process of the event is to put together a corporate strategy in about 2 hours.

Green Path Planning

  • Organization
  • Resources
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Wins and Losses
  • Customers’ needs
  • Market externals
  • Competitors
  • Partners

Participants shape their own organizations and resources.   The caution is to eliminate some objectives as well as to develop new ideas—“kill what’s not working.”

The market team represents your customer.  In healthcare, they will be patients, physicians, payers, FDA, and others.  They also represent any other company they may need to do business with—and will need to approve any M&A or other deals that participants want to occur.

They serve to “validate the deal.”

The power of the process

Simulations bring to the surface ideas that are not apparent when looking from the inside out…

The competitive nature of the process drives to deliverables; attendees are urged to be competitive and encouraged to “fight to win.”

“Go ahead and take that chance,” said Tim.   But keep it semi-realistic.

Each team will have one person assigned as an intelligence analyst who has been working on a digital disruption portal.  They are a great source of information. They also have access to analysis they’ve already produced and can share that with their group: 900 articles, and since teams only have 2.5 hours to complete the process, the CI person is critical.

All work from all groups will be collected and available in The After Action Report to be distributed after the event.


Round 1

Round 1 presentations


Round 2

Round 2 presentations

Probability/Impact grid exercise

(16:15) Lessons learned, announce winner

Round 1: As a team, you will go through the set of structured exercises designed to help you pull together a strategy so that teams can present it to the market–as well as your competition–at the end of round 2.

“Lay the cards on the table…we will all benefit,” said Storm.

Teams will select a spokesperson—this person will have eight minutes per slide.  Choose a recorder to enter the team’s decisions and responses, and a timekeeper to make sure you stay on track.

A facilitator is available to assist.

Tasks, Round 1

Stakeholder analysis—think of their needs/wants prior to strategizing

Force field analysis—market externals leading to success in the market

Meeting with the market team (customers):  Ignore the market at your own peril!

Discussion on strategies and tactics


An online group serves as a resource for the team; they will distribute press releases announcing “rogue waves.” Teams need to be agile in responding to disruptions.