What IS an OODA loop?
John R. Boyd was a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot active during the 1950's. In the 1970's he helped design the F-16 and then went on to promote a concept called the OODA loop.
OODA stands for Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action. This is a basic pattern for how we make tactical decisions. Col. Boyd is credited with coining this term, originating and promoting the concept which has become a strategic centerpiece for multiple military campaigns.
Many acknowledge that the OODA loop concept is just as powerful in business as it is in the military. But it is just as powerful and simplistic a tool for an individual as it is for these larger venues. Particularly when it comes to decreasing the downtime of employees…particularly revenue producing employees.
In a paper written by Drs. Ray Curts and Douglas Campbell, they state that "The dilemma of the decision maker within the OODA loop is largely a problem of data collection, storage, retrieval, manipulation and comparison." Isn't this equally true of someone who is sitting at their desk trying to work through their day of endless interruptions and shifting priorities while chipping away at their assignments or projects? The 'collection, storage, retrieval and manipulation…' of information directly contributes to our cluttered and stressed work environment. While trying to practice the steps needed to close our own OODA loop, we tend to stumble.
Simple does not mean easy
Just as the OODA loop concept can be seen as a simple process, so can getting organized. However, simple does not mean easy.
Observing your own habits or repetitive behaviors is more difficult for some than others. Orienting yourself to the big picture as well as the required detail involves a synergistic approach that can be both challenging and frustrating. Decision-making speaks directly to what I call 'behavioral organizing'…whose biggest demon is procrastination. And last but certainly not least, taking action and moving forward is something that requires us engaging in all three of the previous steps.
The costs of not organizing are plentiful and rooted in how we manage our time. Downtime of revenue producing staff, higher expenses, missed opportunities, slower response time in customer service, poor team performance, stress and frustration just to name a few. In general, lower productivity accompanied by high-priced stress.
So…is your OODA loop working?
Cynthia Kyriazis offers multiple learning formats to meet every need. These include one-on-one coaching, on-site training, on-line webinars and teleclasses.
Full Author Profile -->