Analysis

Video: Crisis management wargaming

Respond better, emerge stronger

During a crisis, executives can be barraged with a flood of information—much of it incomplete or misleading. Yet they must still make critical decisions in the face of quickly unfolding events. That’s why making use of wargaming before crisis strikes can be so important. Wargaming can instantly reveal how leadership would respond to an extreme event; help reframe and improve response; and reassure customers, investors, and the board that the organization can survive a crisis. All without facing real-world reputational and financial risk.

Join us on October 24 at 2:00 pm Eastern for a Dbriefs webcast Effective crisis response: Stacking the deck in your favor. For most companies, it is a matter of when a crisis will occur, not if. Crisis response preparations are important, but what actions can companies take during an event to mitigate damage and preserve stakeholder trust and confidence? Register now and learn about time-tested approaches to crisis response and how companies can adapt them.

Crisis management wargaming

Crisis management solutions

Deloitte Advisory’s Crisis management solutions provide resilience and disaster management services to clients in nearly every industry and supply chain, helping them sense, prepare for, respond to, and recover from major crisis events. Our professionals have experience across all phases of the crisis management lifecycle in the areas of strategy, policy and planning, governance, financial and regulatory compliance, capital projects and infrastructure oversight, housing recovery, business intelligence, data analytics and reporting, geospatial analysis, human capital, stakeholder engagement, outreach, and more.

Our crisis management approach is designed to stay ahead of growing threats caused by critical events. It begins by identifying and preparing for strategic risks, and it spans a broad portfolio of activities—from simulation and monitoring to response and communications.

Learn more about Deloitte Advisory’s crisis management insights that help leaders both prepare for and act when a crisis occurs.

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From the battlefield to the C-suite

For centuries, war games have been used to make sense of arguably the most volatile, complex, and risk-laden environment of all: the battlefield. Those same benefits that wargaming brings to battle situations—stimulating cross-silo thinking, challenging existing biases and assumptions, and assessing the effectiveness of proposed strategies—make it an invaluable tool for organizations as they navigate today’s uncertain and complex marketplace.

War games are applied analytic exercises that may vary in appearance, structure, or outcome, but serve the common purpose of improving decision-making under uncertainty.

In practice, war games bring business leaders together, introduce them to crisis scenarios that defy easy solutions—and may include free-thinking third parties or competitors, when appropriate—in order to provide a safe space to rehearse, refine, test hypotheses, and explore new courses of action.

The impetus to conduct a wargame can vary, but typically is rooted in a key question or uncertainty. War games help stress-test leaders to ask and answer questions like:

  • Is our organization prepared for…?
  • How well do we work with each other when…?
  • What decisions should be made, and who makes them if…?
  • What are the hidden risks in…?

Wargaming is a versatile tool to assess readiness to manage crises. Its users gain insights which allow them to act rather than react; capitalize on fresh thoughts and innovation; and implement crisis management plans with confidence.

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Wargaming (n)–An interactive and rigorous analytic process that immerses participants in a simulated crisis scenario to help evaluate an organization’s response effectiveness and preparedness.​

Rehearsal for a successful recovery

Through the exploration of both hypothetical and real-world scenarios, wargaming allows public-and private-sector leaders to confront and eventually overcome strategic risks and crisis events. Experiencing the uncomfortable reality of a crisis in the relatively safe confines of a simulation helps leadership teams:

  • Gain a stronger understanding of the problem
  • Challenge biases and assumptions
  • Better manage uncertainty and ambiguity
  • Provide insights into emerging threats and opportunities
  • Identify critical gaps and vulnerabilities
  • Position the organization to face and even exploit future threats, challenges, and opportunities

Rehearsing and practicing before a critical event takes place can lead to greater success in recovering after the crisis subsides.

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