What techniques do people use in the most extreme situations to make decisions? What can we learn from them to help us make more rational and quick decisions? If these techniques work in the most drastic scenarios, they have a good chance of working for us. This is why military mental models can have such wide, useful applications outside their original context. Military mental models are constantly tested in the laboratory of conflict.
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Or more to the point, the way most people in the military talk about it is useless. Thanks for that insight, Napoleon. Describing decision making by prattling on about the OODA Loop is like saying things fall because of gravity. No shit, Sherlock. Many things are obvious only after someone says them the first time.
After all, people bitched about apples falling out of trees for ages until Isaac Newton explained to those idiots why that kept happening. Colonel Boyd wrote a series of essays and presentations that range from the fascinating Patterns of Conflict to the virtually impenetrable rumination on ideas, thermodynamics, and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle called Destruction and Creation. The creators of American maneuver doctrine gave a lot of credit to Boyd, but while the OODA loop is an important part of that, it is by no means the bulk of his contribution to maneuver doctrine.
Beyond that, his work on energy-maneuverability theory shaped the design of every tactical aircraft flying today. Some people need to learn a little more about the background before bringing up OODA in a vacuum. That mention of the OODA Loop had better be followed by immediately dropping some serious knowledge bombs about specific ways you plan to exploit it.
If those knowledge bombs could have been dropped without unnecessarily introducing the OODA Loop, please do so. Air Force. Marine Corps.
Coast Guard. More Sections. The Blotter. Mandatory Fun. PCS Moves. Area Guides. The Long March.
I’m So Sick Of The OODA Loop
The OODA loop was a tool developed by military strategist John Boyd to explain how individuals and organizations can win in uncertain and chaotic environments. This article will give you the understanding you need to turn ambiguity into advantage and risk into results in your career, business and life. This is a big article. Download it as a beautiful PDF to read later! Colonel John Boyd. Full military honors including an honor guard, band, rifle squad, and flag-draped caisson drawn by six gray horses were provided.
OODA LOOP: What You Can Learn from Fighter Pilots About Making Fast and Accurate Decisions
John Boyd. Although OODA was clearly created for military purposes, elements of the same theory can also be applied to business strategy. Boyd developed the theory based on his earlier experience as a fighter pilot and work on energy maneuverability. Colonel Boyd viewed the enemy and ourselves as a system that is acting through a decision making process based on observations of the world around it. The enemy will observe unfolding circumstances and gather outside information in order to orient the system to perceived threats. Boyd states that the orientation phase of the loop is the most important step , because if the enemy perceives the wrong threats, or misunderstands what is happening in the environment around him, then he will orient his thinking and forces in wrong directions and ultimately make incorrect decisions. Boyd said that this cycle of decision-making could operate at different speeds for the enemy and your own organization.
John Boyd (military strategist)
Or more to the point, the way most people in the military talk about it is useless. Thanks for that insight, Napoleon. Describing decision making by prattling on about the OODA Loop is like saying things fall because of gravity. No shit, Sherlock.
Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process , often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach explains how agility can overcome raw power in dealing with human opponents. It is especially applicable to cyber security and cyberwarfare. The OODA loop has become an important concept in litigation ,  business,  law enforcement ,  and military strategy. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe—orient—decide—act.