When It Takes a Network: Creating Strategy and Agility through Wargaming

by Arnoud Franken, Harry Thomsett



Rational, analytical, directed approaches for strategy creation and execution may work for creating value by conventional, hierarchically structured organizations operating in stable environments. However, when the basis of competition shifts from product features to an experience delivered by a network of independently acting participants in a complex and fast-evolving market environment, approaches based on command and control do not work. For order to emerge from such chaos and to gain more control over success, strategy based on reason alone is not enough to inspire action in others. To understand what it takes to effectively make strategy under such circumstances, this article shows how the UK’s Royal Marines, in collaboration with more than a dozen different stakeholder groups, developed a novel adaptation of wargaming to affect strategic change in Afghanistan. It also demonstrates the broad applicability of this strategic approach.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us