OODA Loops and point of view

Boyd and The American Way of War. It’s one of the apparent paradoxes of conflict that technologies can change the nature of battle, but not win wars. Col. John Boyd’s insights into that conundrum produced some important thinking, and led to the concept of 4th Generation Warfare (4GW)…. [Blogcritics]

This leads into a whole series of fascinating items that link into strategy and knowledge management as well as food for thought about the broader environment we now operate in. A rich vein of material to mine and think about.

Boyd developed the notion of the OODA loop which has begun to gain currency in dynamic strategy thinking. The Fast Company article on The Strategy of the Fighter Pilot” looks to be a good starting point.

OODA is an acronym for Observe-Orient-Decide-Act. Conventionally this is depicted as a loop, but I think is might better be represented as a mini-web with Orient at the center. Something like the following:

That would link this to another of my favorite Alan Kay observations that “point of view is worth 80 IQ points.”

5 thoughts on “OODA Loops and point of view”

  1. Jim,

    Interesting point. Your suggestion makes sense because orienting involves recognizing relevant aspects of the context of whatever one is preparing to do.

    I found your article while searching for any sources that might discuss OODA in a KM context. Our current framing of KM, in my organization, associates it with the OO elements of OODA, because KM primarily enables the processes that provide actionable information (knowledge) to senior decision makers.

  2. Your point is quite interesting.
    I have noticed there exists many types of OODA loops such as information OODA loop, Social ODDA loop, military OODA loopa nd others. In your opinion how would these differ from each other and how these loops would bridge or bond together?

  3. Ali,

    I hadn’t ever really thought about OODA loops as being distinctively different in different contexts. Tell me more about how you see them differing in these contexts

  4. Jim,
    The timing factor is crucial. In military OODA loops you have to process data extremely fast. Not only that, there is hardly any time to filter or block information, In social OODA the circulation of information might be blocked, depending on the trust one has towards others. Fastness is not as urgent as it is with a pilot engaged in an air battle.
    The name is the same, OODA, but the time-space is different.

  5. Hi Jim,

    You may find more details in the following two posts that were published today by meslf and Bas De Baar
    03/09/2008 Social OODA Super Speedway

    03/09/2008 Driving On The OODA Highway

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