Red team thinking challenges its practitioners to think like the enemy. Sound and data-driven thinking in high pressure situations — military ones or Fortune 500 companies — yields the best decisions.
We’ve put together a list of the most impactful players that influence the red team thinking approach.
Dr. Gary Klein
Dr. Gary Klein is a research physiologist who is a Senior Scientist at Macro Cognition LLC. He specializes and is a pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.
He has studied individuals in high pressure situations and developed his recognition primed decision model which determines how people make quick, effective decisions when facing complex situations.
Like red team thinking, Klein’s research has influenced the ways the Marines and Army train their officers to make decisions.
While Klein’s NDM model improves decision making during high pressure situations, red team thinking improves decision making by specifying the adversary’s preferences and strategies.
Dr. Gary Klein can be followed on Twitter at @KleInsight.
Dr. David Snowden
His research primarily focused on dealing with complex issues relating to strategy and decision making. He is the known for the development of the Cynefin framework.
The Cynefin framework is based on five decision making contexts which are simple, complicated, complex, chaotic, and disorder.
This framework was specifically developed for IBM, but has expanded to other NPOs, businesses and the government.
Red team thinking and the Cynefin framework run parallel in organizations. Both can be used in collaboration for decision making complications within complex organizations.
Dr. David Snowden can be followed on Twitter @snowded.
Cognitive Edge can be found on Twitter @CognitiveEdge.
Dr. Philip Tetlock
Dr. Philip Tetlock is currently an Annenberg University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Wharton School of Management.
His expertise is in social and cultural psychology and the decision making process. He is also a co-principal of The Good Judgement Project, which is a study to improve the accuracy of probability judgements of high stakes, real world events.
The study is similar to the foundation of red team thinking in the military, in which sound and research-based thinking generate the best decision making in in high stress environments.
Follow Good Judgement Project @superforecaster.
Dr. Philip Tetlock can be followed on twitter at @PTetlock.
The Wharton School can be found on Twitter @wharton.
Dan Gardner is best selling author and a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
He is an expert on psychology and decision making. His research has primarily center around teaching individuals to think clearly in decision making situations.
Red team thinking focuses on every possible outcome and situation before choosing a solution, but some decisions need to be quick so having a clear train of thought is crucial.
Not only is thinking clearly important to quick decisions, you also need to be able to think clearly during periods like probability analysis in the red team thinking framework. Dan Gardner has applied the same constructs to his study of decisions. He even consulted for the Prime Minister of Canada.
Dan Gardner can be followed on twitter at @dgardner.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a well respected best selling author who covers different subjects such as problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty.
He is known for being critical of the risk management methods used by the finance industry and warned about financial crises caused by those risk management methods. The housing collapse of 2008 can be at least partly attributed to poor risk management.
As leaders in decision making philosophy focuses on minimizes risk, he accepts uncertainty and embraces volatility.
Taleb uses the term antifragility in these types of instances and because he calls it non-predictive decision making focused on the ability of the unit in question to withstand unexpected change.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb can be followed on twitter at @nntaleb.
Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sload School of Management and the founder of the Society for Organizational Learning. The Society for Organizational Learning focuses on communication of ideas within large corporations.
His organizational development work views organizations as dynamic systems where continuous adaptation and improvement is part of the progression. His organizational theory states there are 4 challenges in initiating changes; there must be a compelling case for change, there must be time to change, there must be help during the change process, and an unforeseeable new problem doesn’t become a critical barrier.
With these challenges, red team thinking addresses all of these issues in one way or another.
Follow the Society for Organizational Learning twitter @SoLFlash.