Robin Hanson exposes how military-run war games, which are ostensibly used to train the U.S. armed forces to deal with real life challenges and contingencies, are regularly rigged in their design such that the Americans inevitably win (and that they do so overwhelmingly). Hanson uses this illustrative example of organizational pathologies to pose the question to readers about their own organizations’ resistances to confronting their weaknesses:
You might have thought that because in the military most everyone’s freedom and lives are on the line, the military at least would try hard to create realistic estimates of the outcomes of their policies. But you’d be wrong. Organizational disfunction plagues them as well. Apparently military leaders think it is more important to instill confidence in the troops and citizens than to actually find out how wars would go.
Now ask yourself: since your freedom and lives aren’t on the line in your organization, just how much more dysfunctional might be your outcome estimating processes?