In her time as PM, Margaret Thatcher made strong decisions and stood by them. Amending them only if and when proved to be needed and by keeping one step ahead of her rivals!
This is no different in the world of business today and keeping one step ahead of the competition is critical to lead the way forward , making decisive decisions quickly and assertively is more important now than it has ever been.
US Air Force Colonel John Boyd created a model (OODA – Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) whilst looking at the advantages of US aircraft over Russian rivals which, although quicker and more manoeuvrable, didn’t have the visual clarity of the F-86 which won the day.
Business is similar in its deliverance and, as its name suggests, the ‘Loop’ can be entered at any point and continues to revolve and evolve, even when faced with what appears a stronger force. So how does it work?
This tool helps towards making effective, quick and pro-active decision-making. These four stages are…
- OBSERVE – Collate and gather information from a variety of different sources. The more information you can ‘observe’ and take in here, the more accurate your perception will be. Question what’s happening in the environment that both directly and indirectly affects me. What’s happening now that may have a lasting affect later on? Are predictions accurate? What’s the difference between these and reality?
- ORIENT – Analyse and digest this data. Compare it with your own. Boyd identified five main influences: (1) Cultural traditions (2)Genetic heritage (3) The ability to analyse and synthesize (4) Previous experience (5) New information coming in. How you interpret a situation leads directly to your decision. By becoming more aware of your perceptions, moving through the decision loop becomes quicker and more effective. If you can make assessment of the situation and the environment around you faster than your competition, you’ll have an advantage. It’s important to be constantly re-orienting.
- DECIDE – Establish and determine the course of action to take. Based on the observations made and the orientation used, a stronger evaluated decision can be made. While continuing to cycling through the OODA Loop, new suggestions arrive and these can be incorporated triggering changes in Decisions and the consequent Action. These new ‘understandings’ are brought in during the Orient phase, which in turn influences the rest of the decision making process.
- ACT – Do it! Follow through on your decisions. Once your actions have been reached, cycle back to the Observe stage, to judge the effects of your action. Keep learning from what your competition is doing as well as being aware of your own developments!
This model is designed to be fluid and not static. Observe the results of your actions, seeing whether you’ve achieved the results you intended. Keep as a continual process, the faster you can move through each stage the better.
The objective of this model is to increase speed through orientation and reorient based on new date forthcoming.
When you start operating within your opponent’s Loop, your competitor starts reacting to environmental changes as opposed to trying to be ahead of them because that’s where you are. Working on the offensive, making strikes and forcing them to react to you.
Should you, your team members or someone within your team(s) be indecisive or wanting to find better ways to make positive decisions, Coaching to Success utilise these and many other tools to help you and invites you to contact us to open conversations on how we can assist in this or other areas that you, your company or firm are wishing to excel at.
Please contact Nutburn on 07761 187238 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.
Our business is about your success and your future successes are in your hands so give us a call so we can help you turn the ideas into reality.
Having read this and got this far, why not check out Neil too by watching our YouTube video HERE.