Tim Smith facilitating a war game

“A competitive simulation or war game is used to build and test strategy. War games have been used by military leaders throughout history, notably by the Persians and Napoleon, and more recently by the U.S. when planning its invasion of Iraq. They have also been used effectively by business executives, leaders in government agencies, and even non-profits. They can be powerful tools to generate creative ideas, surface and resolve taboo issues, anticipate competitive responses, identify and prioritize stakeholder needs, assess likely market acceptance of a product or service, or to build and test a strategic plan. As Karl Von Clausewitz so eloquently put it, “everything in war is simple; but the simplest thing is difficult…” – “Battle for Value: Wargaming for Business, Non-Profit and Government Strategy Development,” Micah May and Timothy Smith, IGI: 2012.

Competitive Simulations Inc. helps solve competitive challenges with war game facilitation and other services. Participants in war games describe the experience as exhilarating, challenging, fast-paced, fun, exhausting and very educational!

  • Competitive simulation facilitation, also known as war game facilitation. Using Competitive Simulation Inc’s proprietary approach, these are 1-2 day team processes that begin with documenting the specific competitive challenge and the reasons why this challenge is critical to your organization. Then we lead your teams through processes and tools to gain a deeper understanding of the competition. By engaging everyone in the specific issue, intelligence, analysis, and strategy formation, consensus is built supporting the agreed upon strategy and tactics. A war game is a role-played simulation of a business challenge. It involves teams representing a market or customer, a set of competitors, and a series of other uncontrollable factors or entities. The teams proceed through rounds representing a specific period of time or a phase in a plan. All teams act concurrently, each without all the information it would like to have about what its competitors are currently planning or doing, or exactly what is going on among the uncontrollable factors. Only after a round has been completed does each team learn the effects of its decisions and actions when they are melded with those of all the other elements represented in the war game.
  • Profiles on competitors and the market with relevant public and internal intelligence
  • Primary market research to identify competitive and internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats,
  • Recommendations on secondary research sources,
  • Best practice sharing, and
  • Strategy consulting.

Competitive Simulation SummaryCompetitive simulations (war games) produce insights, strategy, action plans and deliverables, along with soft benefits for organizations:

  • Understand how competitors and other market players may react to various scenarios,
  • Develop justification that enable the sponsors to “sell” more significant strategic options generated by the simulation,
  • Shift the team’s focus to external competitors,
  • Provide a critical link between strategy and tactics,
  • Explore and test future competitive strategies to discover any weaknesses in a plan and identify possible consequences of plan adoption,
  • Generate a Probability-Impact Grid (PIG) that allows ongoing risk and opportunity assessment,
  • Learn more about the skills and abilities of the team and team members, and
  • Build teamwork and passion for winning!

Typical competitive issues that our clients engage us to help understand include ways to gain market share, estimate the impact of a new competitor or product launch, and understand the impact of a new regulation.

One very large medical device client has us lead over ten competitive simulations per year in the US, Asia and Europe.

Competitive Simulations Inc. is a member of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals and adheres to its code of ethics.

Contact Tim to discuss your competitive challenge and learn how we can help! See our email addresses in the website footer or submit your request on the Contact Us page.