41 min

Red Teaming and Other Wargaming for Business: Fred Aubin Lets Talk Leadership

    • Business

Lieutenant-Colonel (retd) Fred Aubin, CD, MCGI, is Founder and CEO of Strategic Red Team Consulting, and is based in Ottawa, Canada.

A 34 year command-level combat veteran of the Canadian Forces, Fred leads a consultancy team with an extensive arsenal of expertise for what he calls, “The Corporate Battlefield”. Fred has commanded everything from specialized strategic advisory teams of 20 to large multi-disciplinary task forces of 600, both at home in Canada and abroad in harm’s way. He was a highly experienced strategic planner in the Canadian Department of National Defence and has designed, managed and coordinated business plans, transformational “change management” campaigns and corporate level strategies with values in the billions of dollars.

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Click Here for More About Fred Aubin

Red Teaming and How it Helps Business

Fred explained that on leaving the military several years before he had seen – in comparison with what he was used to in the military – a gap in business operations, in terms of planning and especially business simulations, including such things as decision support simulation, war gaming and red teaming. Hence the focus of his consulting to business and government in the intervening years.

Red Teaming is a branch of war gaming.

There are many books on war gaming for business. See below for Fred’s specially recommended ones and other sources of information on the subject. For a one page synopsis, see this page on Fred’s website.

There are three types of war gaming, with same basic elements, different outcomes:



* Course of Action War Gaming

* Rehearsal War Gaming

* Red Team Exercise



Course of Action War Gaming

A series of at least two, possibly more, sequential and comparable war games. Used in plan development stage to determine the most viable options in terms of the various factors to be considered, such as risk, execution and payoff.

Rehearsal War Gaming

When the course of action has been established, when you are getting ready to act, but “haven’t thrown the switch yet”. A rehearsal process, with all the key actors, prior to the plan’s execution. To “reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight”.

Red Team War Gaming

Red team war gaming is not entry level. Where it happens it is a capstone exercise that follows course of action war gaming and rehearsal war gaming.

The Red Team exercise is similar to the Rehearsal war game, with the exception that ideally, the red team members are not drawn from the organization’s stakeholders. Each red team member is a subject specialist and is only given the amount of information about the organization that a normal competitor would have. Their task is to put the organization’s plan under “extreme competitive stress”.



The whole idea is you reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight, turning individual knowledge into collective knowledge.



A Hack for Economy with Effectiveness

In the conversation, Fred explains the ideal composition of the Red team in a Red Teaming exercise. He also provides an option for corporates wanting a more economical setup without prejudicing effectiveness (find this at or about 22 min 35 sec into the episode,

Lieutenant-Colonel (retd) Fred Aubin, CD, MCGI, is Founder and CEO of Strategic Red Team Consulting, and is based in Ottawa, Canada.

A 34 year command-level combat veteran of the Canadian Forces, Fred leads a consultancy team with an extensive arsenal of expertise for what he calls, “The Corporate Battlefield”. Fred has commanded everything from specialized strategic advisory teams of 20 to large multi-disciplinary task forces of 600, both at home in Canada and abroad in harm’s way. He was a highly experienced strategic planner in the Canadian Department of National Defence and has designed, managed and coordinated business plans, transformational “change management” campaigns and corporate level strategies with values in the billions of dollars.

Or you can subscribe via Stitcher Radio or via email.

Click Here for More About Fred Aubin

Red Teaming and How it Helps Business

Fred explained that on leaving the military several years before he had seen – in comparison with what he was used to in the military – a gap in business operations, in terms of planning and especially business simulations, including such things as decision support simulation, war gaming and red teaming. Hence the focus of his consulting to business and government in the intervening years.

Red Teaming is a branch of war gaming.

There are many books on war gaming for business. See below for Fred’s specially recommended ones and other sources of information on the subject. For a one page synopsis, see this page on Fred’s website.

There are three types of war gaming, with same basic elements, different outcomes:



* Course of Action War Gaming

* Rehearsal War Gaming

* Red Team Exercise



Course of Action War Gaming

A series of at least two, possibly more, sequential and comparable war games. Used in plan development stage to determine the most viable options in terms of the various factors to be considered, such as risk, execution and payoff.

Rehearsal War Gaming

When the course of action has been established, when you are getting ready to act, but “haven’t thrown the switch yet”. A rehearsal process, with all the key actors, prior to the plan’s execution. To “reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight”.

Red Team War Gaming

Red team war gaming is not entry level. Where it happens it is a capstone exercise that follows course of action war gaming and rehearsal war gaming.

The Red Team exercise is similar to the Rehearsal war game, with the exception that ideally, the red team members are not drawn from the organization’s stakeholders. Each red team member is a subject specialist and is only given the amount of information about the organization that a normal competitor would have. Their task is to put the organization’s plan under “extreme competitive stress”.



The whole idea is you reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight, turning individual knowledge into collective knowledge.



A Hack for Economy with Effectiveness

In the conversation, Fred explains the ideal composition of the Red team in a Red Teaming exercise. He also provides an option for corporates wanting a more economical setup without prejudicing effectiveness (find this at or about 22 min 35 sec into the episode,

41 min