What is OODA loop?

What is OODA loop?

Developed in the mid-20th century by the military strategist, US Air Force Colonel John Boyd.

The OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act)

  • four-step approach to decision-making
  • filtering available information, putting it in context and quickly making the most appropriate decision while also applying changes as more data becomes available.

Applicable for quick decision making, improving the quality of decision-making, uncertain environment etc.

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What is OODA loop? - Definition from WhatIs.com

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  • The number of potential scenarios that can be pursued.
  • Denial that a specific event has occurred, and refusing to acknowledge it right away.
  • The complexity of the stimulus.
  • The need for approval prior to carrying out a response.
  • The emotional stress of the team or environment at the onset of the stimulus.
  • The level of trust that exists within a team to rely on each other’s decisions.
  • The amount of intuitive skill that is possessed relating to the stimulus.
  • Clearly, or unclearly, defined business goals.
  • Stimuli that is constantly evolving or changing.

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Orient:
  • Reflect on what has been found during observations and consider what should be done next and why.

It requires awareness and understanding of situation to make a conscious decision.

  • Individual can creat mental models or mental rehearsal drills to shape judgement.
  • Organization can use machine learning (ML ) tools to identify potential outcomes while removing any bias.

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Observe:
  • Identify the problem or threat and gain an overall understanding of the internal and external environment.

Ex- data gathering, current organizational state, any competitors and the market .

Gather whatever information is available as quickly as possible in order to make decisions based on it.

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Act:
  1. Carry out the decision and related changes that need to be made in response to the decision.
  2. This step may also include any testing that is required before officially carrying out an action, such as compatibility or A/B testing.

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Decide:
  • Create an action or response plan, considerating all the potential outcomes.
  • Meetings or discussions can be used to creat a roadmap for organization.

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  • make it as short as possible, minimizing reaction times in high-stakes situations.

Although multiple options can lead to slow reaction time.

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The OODA Loop: A Military Mental Model

The OODA Loop is a four-step method to swiftly make effective decisions in tough and high-stakes situations. It is created by military leaders and war strategists who work in extreme situations and routinely face drastic scenarios.

The OODA Loop stands for:

  1. Observe
  2. Orient
  3. Decide
  4. Act

It is called a loop as it is intended to be repeated until the conflict is taken care of.

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An ethical dilemma (ethical paradox or moral dilemma) is a problem in the decision-making process between two possible options, neither of which is absolutely acceptable from an ethical perspective.

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Decision Making Process

The decision making process that Dalio, Buffett and Munger use is:

  1. Make the most rational decisions you can;
  2. Look for psychological bias that may have interfered with making a rational decision; and
  3. Expose your hypothesis to very smart people who have a thoughtful contrary view and deeply understand their position.

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