The strategist's essential, all-purpose wargaming tool
In 1957, at the height of the Cold War, Herman Kahn co-wrote a paper for RAND on strategic planning for an uncertain world. Sputnik I was two months ahead, a moment that unsteadied the entire US national security and science establishments. Kahn's essay and ideas became even more relevant.
Kahn wrote about the "Informal Game" strategists ought to play while thinking through threats. "This is a conscious attempt to try to take account of the enemy's reactions. It is sometimes played inside one man's head. One simply asks himself, wrote Kahn, "what would the enemy do if I did this," or "what does he think I will do if he does such and such?...Simply to take into account, consciously, the fact that the enemy is not passive, but actually may be trying to thwart and circumvent you, is almost without question the most common and important kind of War Gaming that is done (or sometimes not done)."
Kahn called it "Informal," but I'd say it's more like mental shadow boxing. Prize fighters need sparring partners and shadow-work as strategists need thought experiments and invisible adversaries. When your contribution to an organization is your ability to navigate competition, you must find new ways to “experience” rough seas and enemy guns.