Speaker Bio

Chris Paton

Chris Paton is a strategy, planning and change specialist, implementing higher performance in a wide range of organisations. He is one of the UK’s premier exponents of wargaming and was contracted by Shell to wargame their plans for decommissioning oil platforms in the North Sea.

He has also provided wargames for the NHS, Waitrose, Co-op and other corporates. At the SME level he has facilitated wargames and planning workshops for a range of businesses, including a £1M Telecomms company, with just 8 staff, towards a three-fold increase in turnover and a trebling of staff.

Bi-lingual in French and with a Masters Degree in International Liaison and Communication, he spent 6 months of 2013 in Benin, providing French-speaking performance consultancy to a client.

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A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, with a wealth of operational experience, his military career included advising on Afghan Strategy and plans to the Cabinet Office and National Security Council, and he was responsible for the design of the drawdown of the UK presence in Afghanistan.

Chris has co-authored a HBR article on planning in fluid situations, as well as articles in professional magazines. He has become widely sought after in the SME sphere, where he uses his leadership, organisational effectiveness, strategy and delivery experience to give small teams increased coherency, direction and motivation, helping them to deliver remarkable results.

Accredited speaker – Q4 2015-16

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My programmes
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Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

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Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

Overview:

Wargaming was developed by the military to evaluate plans before committing resources into action; it is a growth area across SMEs to large corporates and in a range of forms. It is the prime means of stress testing plans and strategies, to identify where risks lie, where contingency plans need to be considered, and where opportunities exist that hadn’t previously been considered. Many companies (SMEs in particular) tend to rely on gut instinct in terms of planning, with a brief nod towards market conditions and stakeholder behaviour. However, this only addresses the situation at the time of planning and fails to take future dynamics into account, which leads to waste of resource and ineffective performance. Wargaming rectifies this through simulating how conditions will develop over time, stakeholder interdependencies, their reactions and likely outcomes. It can be an integral part of a building a new strategy/plan or as a standalone tool to verify an existing plan. In addition, it is a crucial aid in bringing even the smallest of teams closer together and inspiring them to achieve breakthrough results. Wargaming is engaging, enjoyable, stimulating and involves a wide cross-section of the staff in the business, but for a very short period of time, preventing dips in productivity. This session includes a practical experience of a wargame, usually through testing a member’s plan or strategy and using the rest of the group as role players.

Objectives

  • To learn what wargaming is and the benefits it brings.
  • To study different styles and delivery of wargames.
  • To outline the process of a wargame in a business.

Content

  • Background: why wargaming is needed
  • What it looks like
  • Live wargame exercise (through testing a member’s plan/issue)
  • How to implement a wargame, key steps and pitfalls; initiating one for your own business.

Strategic Planning Process: Strategy Execution

An engaging, interactive and stimulating session focusing on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes.

Read more

Strategic Planning Process: Strategy Execution

Overview:

An engaging, interactive and stimulating session focusing on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes.

Theories on business strategy from learned and eminent practitioners abound, MBAs focus on it, and there are a legion of books, articles and guides on the subject. In spite of this, failure to deliver strategic objectives remains the biggest bugbear of Vistage CEOs. Indeed, it is the one thing keeping many CEOs awake at night, not just Vistage members. At the Chief Strategy Officer Summit in 2014 in London, a survey of directors, VPs and chief strategy officers was conducted. Only 13% of the 132 respondents felt they achieved 80% or more of the expected value of their strategic initiatives. There are many reasons behind this, but one of them is a lack of proper process. A Strategic planning process is key to any business achieving its strategic aims. Many companies (SMEs in particular) tend to rely on gut instinct and ad-hoc approaches when planning, with a brief nod towards market conditions and stakeholder behaviour. This lack of process means a failure to engage a wide range of company staff, leading to disenfranchised individuals who have little desire to see the objectives achieved. The end result is demotivation, inertia and stagnation for all parties. A strong planning process is a crucial aid in bringing even the smallest of teams closer together and inspiring them to achieve breakthrough results. It is engaging, enjoyable, stimulating and involves a wide cross-section of the staff in the business. This interactive session focuses on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes. Members will work together on a series of exercises throughout the workshop, helping to consolidate the learning.

Objectives:

  • To learn why a planning process is important and the benefits it brings.
  • To study different process tools and their benefits / limitations.
  • To outline ways in a Vistage business can implement a planning process.

Content:

  • What is a strategy, what is a plan and how do the two link together?
  • What are the components of a good strategy and a good plan and how do I choose the right ones?
  • Why do plans and strategies fail??
  • What tools are there to help a Vistage company implement a planning process?
  • How to implement a process, key steps and pitfalls; initiating one for your own business.

Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

Read more

Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

Overview:

Wargaming was developed by the military to evaluate plans before committing resources into action; it is a growth area across SMEs to large corporates and in a range of forms. It is the prime means of stress testing plans and strategies, to identify where risks lie, where contingency plans need to be considered, and where opportunities exist that hadn’t previously been considered. Many companies (SMEs in particular) tend to rely on gut instinct in terms of planning, with a brief nod towards market conditions and stakeholder behaviour. However, this only addresses the situation at the time of planning and fails to take future dynamics into account, which leads to waste of resource and ineffective performance. Wargaming rectifies this through simulating how conditions will develop over time, stakeholder interdependencies, their reactions and likely outcomes. It can be an integral part of a building a new strategy/plan or as a standalone tool to verify an existing plan. In addition, it is a crucial aid in bringing even the smallest of teams closer together and inspiring them to achieve breakthrough results. Wargaming is engaging, enjoyable, stimulating and involves a wide cross-section of the staff in the business, but for a very short period of time, preventing dips in productivity. This session includes a practical experience of a wargame, usually through testing a member’s plan or strategy and using the rest of the group as role players.

Objectives

  • To learn what wargaming is and the benefits it brings.
  • To study different styles and delivery of wargames.
  • To outline the process of a wargame in a business.

Content

  • Background: why wargaming is needed
  • What it looks like
  • Live wargame exercise (through testing a member’s plan/issue)
  • How to implement a wargame, key steps and pitfalls; initiating one for your own business.

Strategic Planning Process: Strategy Execution

An engaging, interactive and stimulating session focusing on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes.

Read more

Strategic Planning Process: Strategy Execution

Overview:

An engaging, interactive and stimulating session focusing on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes.

Theories on business strategy from learned and eminent practitioners abound, MBAs focus on it, and there are a legion of books, articles and guides on the subject. In spite of this, failure to deliver strategic objectives remains the biggest bugbear of Vistage CEOs. Indeed, it is the one thing keeping many CEOs awake at night, not just Vistage members. At the Chief Strategy Officer Summit in 2014 in London, a survey of directors, VPs and chief strategy officers was conducted. Only 13% of the 132 respondents felt they achieved 80% or more of the expected value of their strategic initiatives. There are many reasons behind this, but one of them is a lack of proper process. A Strategic planning process is key to any business achieving its strategic aims. Many companies (SMEs in particular) tend to rely on gut instinct and ad-hoc approaches when planning, with a brief nod towards market conditions and stakeholder behaviour. This lack of process means a failure to engage a wide range of company staff, leading to disenfranchised individuals who have little desire to see the objectives achieved. The end result is demotivation, inertia and stagnation for all parties. A strong planning process is a crucial aid in bringing even the smallest of teams closer together and inspiring them to achieve breakthrough results. It is engaging, enjoyable, stimulating and involves a wide cross-section of the staff in the business. This interactive session focuses on what a strategic planning process should look like, to achieve successful business outcomes. Members will work together on a series of exercises throughout the workshop, helping to consolidate the learning.

Objectives:

  • To learn why a planning process is important and the benefits it brings.
  • To study different process tools and their benefits / limitations.
  • To outline ways in a Vistage business can implement a planning process.

Content:

  • What is a strategy, what is a plan and how do the two link together?
  • What are the components of a good strategy and a good plan and how do I choose the right ones?
  • Why do plans and strategies fail??
  • What tools are there to help a Vistage company implement a planning process?
  • How to implement a process, key steps and pitfalls; initiating one for your own business.

Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

Read more

Stress Testing (Wargaming): Strategy Execution

This is a highly interactive session, in which members get to learn about the benefits of the wargaming technique through participating in a live test of an issue, leading to successful business outcomes

Overview:

Wargaming was developed by the military to evaluate plans before committing resources into action; it is a growth area across SMEs to large corporates and in a range of forms. It is the prime means of stress testing plans and strategies, to identify where risks lie, where contingency plans need to be considered, and where opportunities exist that hadn’t previously been considered. Many companies (SMEs in particular) tend to rely on gut instinct in terms of planning, with a brief nod towards market conditions and stakeholder behaviour. However, this only addresses the situation at the time of planning and fails to take future dynamics into account, which leads to waste of resource and ineffective performance. Wargaming rectifies this through simulating how conditions will develop over time, stakeholder interdependencies, their reactions and likely outcomes. It can be an integral part of a building a new strategy/plan or as a standalone tool to verify an existing plan. In addition, it is a crucial aid in bringing even the smallest of teams closer together and inspiring them to achieve breakthrough results. Wargaming is engaging, enjoyable, stimulating and involves a wide cross-section of the staff in the business, but for a very short period of time, preventing dips in productivity. This session includes a practical experience of a wargame, usually through testing a member’s plan or strategy and using the rest of the group as role players.

Objectives

  • To learn what wargaming is and the benefits it brings.
  • To study different styles and delivery of wargames.
  • To outline the process of a wargame in a business.

Content

  • Background: why wargaming is needed
  • What it looks like
  • Live wargame exercise (through testing a member’s plan/issue)
  • How to implement a wargame, key steps and pitfalls; initiating one for your own business.

This speaker currently has no retreats. Please check back soon.

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