The Winning Strategy: how Nash Game Theory can revolutionize business teams

By Gianni Minetti, Associate Partner at Excellence Education

In the compelling universe of companies, a mathematical theorem can design new routes for collective success: John Nash’s Game Theory. The principle behind this theory speaks the language of strategy, collaboration and emotional intelligence, thus transforming itself into a compass for teams navigating the stormy seas of companies.

Game Theory

Let’s try to imagine the company as a great theatrical performance, where each actor/employee makes choices not only by following their own script, but also by observing the moves of others. It is here that Nash reveals his intuition: there is a point of balance, a magical moment in which, if one acts in harmony, everyone can aspire to a better ending than the one they would have acting alone. Nash teaches us that it is not the search for personal advantage, but the discovery of a collective solution that leads to the optimal result for the company.

The puzzle of people

In a company, people are pieces of a puzzle: limited in number and to be positioned with care. Effectively managing the “People Puzzle” means placing each piece in the right place. Let’s see how:

  1. Clearly identify each piece: from the individual’s skills to their motivations and potential.
  2. Establish priorities: like in a puzzle, some parts are fundamental to start building the overall picture.
  3. Use project management tools to organize work transparently and track progress over time, ensuring every piece is placed precisely.
  4. Promote flexibility to adapt the team to changes or discover new synergies.
  5. Celebrate each time a piece fits together perfectly by recognizing the individual contribution to the collective success.

These steps transform resource management into a collaborative and strategic activity, where each piece of the puzzle contributes to the creation of a work of art.

The orchestra of decisions

In the orchestra of business decisions, harmonizing the different voices requires careful and inclusive direction. To transform the chaos of individual opinions into a symphony, the first step is to establish a “Conductor”, that is, a leader who coordinates, but who also knows how to listen and ensure that every voice is heard.

A practical tip is to implement structured brainstorming moments, where each member has time to express their ideas without interruptions, as if it were a solo in a concert. Then, use feedback techniques or tools to decide which melody to follow, ensuring that the final decision sounds as harmonious as possible for everyone. In moments of greatest corporate “chaos”, the melody could evolve into an annoying cacophony: in this case it is up to the “Conductor” to shake his baton more vehemently and lead all the musicians back to the symphony desired by each member of the team.

The dance of negotiations

Negotiation is a word that evokes images of confrontation, but if we look at it through the glasses of Game Theory, it becomes more of a dance. In the dance of corporate negotiations, then every step counts and synchronization is essential.

To dance successfully, the first advice is to know the music: fully understanding the interests and needs of all the parties involved will allow you to anticipate the movements and guide the dance. Practice active listening, maintaining an open and receptive attitude: it’s about following the rhythm while ensuring that no one loses pace. Another important step is preparation: before entering the dance floor, plan your choreography, defining the objectives of the negotiation and possible countermoves. Finally, always maintain a positive and constructive perspective, trying to turn every negotiation into an opportunity to strengthen relationships and build bridges. The negotiation dance will thus turn into a mutually beneficial experience.

A new beginning

Integrating Game Theory into corporate teams is not just an intellectual exercise, but an invitation to look beyond one’s own horizon, to seek successes that are truly shared.

Who better than Nash to accompany us in this conclusion: “I believe that people must work together to achieve results that are beneficial to the community, to society, or to humanity in general.”

A powerful reminder that in business, as in life, collaboration and teamwork can lead to successes that far surpass what individuals can achieve alone.


L’Istituto del “Whistleblowing” è riconosciuto come strumento fondamentale nell’emersione di illeciti; per il suo efficace operare è pero cruciale assicurare una protezione adeguata ed equilibrata ai segnalanti. In tale ottica, al fine di garantire che i soggetti segnalanti siano meglio protetto da ritorsioni e conseguenze negative, e incoraggiare l’utilizzo dello strumento, in Italia è stato approvato il D.Lgs. n.24 del 10 marzo 2023 a recepimento della Direttiva (UE) 2019/1937 riguardante la protezione delle persone che segnalano violazioni.

Il decreto persegue l’obiettivo di rafforzare la tutela giuridica delle persone che segnalano violazioni di disposizioni normative nazionali o europee, che ledono gli interessi e/o l’integrità dell’ente pubblico o privato di appartenenza, e di cui siano venute a conoscenza nello svolgimento dell’attività lavorativa.


(*) Campi obbligatori