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April 30, 2004

More thoughts on Boyd, Satir, and Influence

Boyd's model is surprisingly similar to Satir's change model. Boyd's premise was that every action is initially triggered by some observation. We see something, hear something, or feel something, that sets off a chain of reactions and responses that he referred to as the OODA loop - Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.

The act of observation is, of course, filtered. We usually see what we expect to see, not what is actually taking place. And, what we do manage to observe is colored or tinted by our past experience.

Once we actually observe something, our brain attempts to orient itself to the new information. Does it match our past experience, or our cultural background, or our genetic makeup? If not, is it powerful enough to significantly change our view of the world? One way or another it becomes a part of our new reality.

Then we decide what to do about it - to take some action, or just ignore it, and what type of action to take. And then we act.

Infants have almost no accumulated experience, no filters, and seem to spend 150% of their waking hours observing and integrating.

Older people - older that is in terms of their spirit and interests as opposed to calendar age - tend to minimize their observations, attempt to reject things that don't match their established world view, and as a result take fewer and fewer decisions and actions.

Each step in the OODA loop takes time. For all practical intents and purposes, it seems to be a serial process. Some rare individuals may be able to transit multiple OODA loops simultaneously, but the vast majority of people plod through the loop, step by step.

Of course, this process seldom takes place in total isolation. The model's most interesting and most effective use is when we apply it to human interactions. When two people, two competitors, two armies, interact the OODA loop always comes into play and can provide us with tremendous insight.


Ping pong.

Action, response.

A says something, B responds.

A fires a missle, B responds.

Each volley, each action triggers a response loop that has an inherent time lag. Time becomes a key factor, a tool, a competitive advantage.

April 30, 2004 | Permalink


Graphics - I found your graphics excellent and plan to share them with my team around the topic of being agile.
Connections - Thanyou for making the connection between NLP and OODA

Posted by: Phil Cade | Dec 15, 2006 10:29:00 PM

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