OODA Loops

Understanding the Decision Cycle

OODA Loops - Understanding the Decision Cycle

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artistan

Run rings around your competition by making swift, responsive decisions.

Has it ever struck you just how many military terms are used in business?

In fact, war and business are often compared and contrasted. As well as "fighting off threats" or "engaging in a price war," we talk about "gathering intelligence," "making a pre-emptive strike," and even trying to "out-maneuver" the competition.

One of the most noteworthy military strategies to be applied in business is the OODA Loop model (also known as the "decision cycle"), which was developed by US Air Force Colonel John Boyd to help pilots make quick decisions when engaging in air combat.

Boyd developed his model after analyzing the success of the American F-86 fighter plane compared to that of the Soviet MIG-15. Although the MIG was faster and could turn better, the US plane won more battles because, according to Boyd, the pilot's field of vision was far superior to that of the Russian pilots.

This improved field of vision gave the pilot a clear competitive advantage, as it meant that he could assess the situation better and faster than his opponent. As a result, he could surprise his enemy, who would be put off-balance, and would start making mistakes.

Similarly, success in business relies on being one step ahead of the competition and, at the same time, being prepared to react to what they do. It is now more important than ever that we stay up to date and revise our strategies to keep pace with our ever-changing, turbulent environment.

Understanding the Tool

The OODA Loop model is a four-point decision loop that supports quick, effective and proactive decision-making. The four stages of the Loop are:...

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