Core Reference Introducing Hindsight Games
January 11, 2011
Not a single one of the other reviews mentions “hindsight games” which come at the end in Chapter 12, where Ben Gilad, whom I know and admire, properly lists Helen Ho and Matthew J. Morgan as the authors.
At the age of 58 with 30+ years as an intelligence professional behind me, very little catches me by surprise but this is one of those exquisite “ahas.” For me, the insights into hindsight games as a means to retrospectively identify strategic, operational, tactical, and technical junctures, where participants can reflect on what they knew, what they did not know, what they had wish they had known, and how they might advise the next generation to state its intelligence requirements differently–for me this is an intellectual gold strike.
I have never heard of any of the war colleges or strategy centers or major corporations or NGOs doing hindsight games. This for me is HUGE, and Ben Gilad’s integrity is high-density–although the plan of the book properly puts the chapter at the end, after his concepts and doctrine and methods for business war games are outlined, this is the chapter that every one of the eight tribes (academic, civil society, commercial, government, law enforcement, media, military, non-profit or non-governmental) should be thinking about.
Hindsight games are a perfect means of both debriefing out-going executives and mission area specialists, and of transferring lessons learned from one generation to another in a super-professional manner.
I am reminded of Kristan Wheaton’s still relevant book, The Warning Solution : Intelligent Analysis in the Age of Information Overload, and believe that would make an excellent HindSight Game pre-read, pulling in seniors and mission area specialists to talk about what proper warning and better intelligence might have allowed them to do these past twenty years.