mental tapestry of changing
intentions for harmonizing and
focusing our efforts
â€” John R.
Editor's note: We have
just finished moving Belisarius.com to a new hosting
service and apologize for the inconvenience.
Please let us know if you
encounter any problem. And if you have a story
about applying these ideas to your business, please
consider publishing it on Belisarius.com.
March 12, 2006
This site features articles and presentations
on agility and time-based competition with a focus on their application to business strategy. The unifying theme comes
from maneuver warfareâ€”or more broadly, maneuver conflictâ€”as
was described by the late American strategist, Col John
R. Boyd, USAF, in his briefing "Patterns
of Conflict" (1.6 MB PPT document on
the National Interest.)
In armed conflict,
maneuver warfare requires the ability to operate "inside
opponents' observe- orient- decide- act loops."
Such mental and physical quickness generates ambiguity,
confusion, and panic in the opposing side. The
idea is to penetrate the enemy, isolating him into
non-cooperative elements which pump up his friction and
impede any vigorous response. Commanders who can achieve
these effects often gain victory without bloody and
"decisive" battles. For more details on OODA loops
in armed conflict, please consult our sister site,
and the National Interest.
the idea is not so much to confuse competitors,
although that is always satisfying, but to get
customers to buy whatever it is that you're
selling. Competitors are hostile and
sometimes agile features of the environment, but
"defeating" them is not the main idea. It
turns out, though, that OODA loops can shape
customer desires just like they shape opponents'
conception of the conflict in war.
Companies that operate "inside their
competitors' and customers' OODA loops"
typically turn customers into fanatical
loyalists. Details in my new book,
Certain to Win.
In business as in war,
the ability to employ these maneuver concepts
rests on an underlying cultural foundation. Sun Tzu, writing
sometime before 400 B.C., made the earliest known identification
of the elements of such a high-performing culture.
Chief among these is trust,
which is so fundamental that he simply called it, "The Way."
Mutual trust is now recognized as essential by every successful
practitioner of maneuver concepts from the US Marine Corps to Japanese
industrialists to General Electric. The destruction
of trust as a result of corporate short-sightedness or lack
of integrity among senior managers is the single most significant
cause of business failures in the early 21st century.
Many of our articles
explore the relationship between trust
â€“ along with Boyd's
other cultural attributes, including "focus and
direction" and "mission orientation"
â€“ and quick OODA loops. You will also
find advice on specific actions you can take to create this
culture in your organization.
We invite you to browse
our site and return often, as new material is added on a
regular basis. We would also welcome contributions from
readers who have applied these ideas to their own
on arranging seminars or consulting at your
organization, please visit our
New on War,
Chaos, and Business
Boyd's OODA "Loop" - greatly revised and slightly
expanded version. Slide show, with some notes.
(155 KB PPT).
Protecting Intellectual Property in China, by Thor
Feilberg, Thomas Andresen & Thor MÃ¸ller, Copenhagen Business
School. Ordinarily, principles from warfare do not
apply to business. Protecting intellectual property
from pirates, however, has a lot in common with war.
Belisarius.com review of The Radical
Elements of Radical Success, by Dan Ward.
out Maj Dan Ward's (see previous item) new book,
The Radical Elements, at
Doing less with more, by Maj Dan Ward, USAF.
"The Defense acquisition community today has too
much money ..." from
Defense AT&L Magazine, Nov-Dec 2004 (535 KB
Version 1.2 of
Certain to Win (2.9 MB PPT) Designed
to be played as a slide show, but also has
Got a Second? A Journey into the OODA Cycle,
by Ken J. Good,
Strategos International. Step-by-step
with a veteran weapons and tactics instructor.
(76 KB PDF)
OODA Applied to Individual Combat or Martial
By J. Mark Hord. Application of the OODA
loop in the school of Russian martial arts,
an excellent primer for those new to Boyd and a
catalyst to those with business experience ..."
Chuck Leader in "A Winning
Combination," a review of
Certain to Win in the March 2005
Marine Corps Gazette. [After leaving the
Marine Corps, Chuck Leader established a career as a
strategy consultant and CEO of a leading IT
The best customer service needs strong leaders,
F. Paul Karres. Certain to Win in
action. Examples of improving service, revenue,
and profits. Quickly. Originally published
Las Vegas Business Press.
New Management Approach for the Department of
Defense, John C. F. Tillson. A
challenging paper on the applications of Eli
Goldratt's Theory of Constraints to the problem
of recasting DoD for the 21st century.
Will provide insights into the art of the
possible in any large organization.
Training first responders in OODA loop
techniques, D. von Lubitz, et. al.
Presented as a key-note speech at EMISPHER 2004
"Best Practice in Real-time Telemedicine".
Istanbul, Turkey, September 16-18, 2004. (350 KB
Defense and the National Interest.)
part of the
Interview with Belisarius.com Editor Chet
Richards on LocalTechWire.com. More Boyd, Sun
Tzu, business strategy, and the inevitable plugs
Certain to Win.
Press Release for Certain to Win.
Certain to Win:
The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to
Business, by Chet Richards, Editor of
Belisarius.com. Order online,
direct from the publisherâ€”
click here, or call 1-888-795-4274.
Barnes & Noble and
How to Win When Everybody's in the Same Boat,
By Lane Desborough. Everybody races the same
boat, but some crews consistently do better than
Interview with Dr. Chet Richards on
Sonshi.com. Exploring how Boyd's strategy
derives from Sun Tzu and a few places where it
An Alternative OODA "Loop." For Boyd's
legacy to survive, people must continue
developing his ideas. Here's an interesting new
suggestion for interpreting the orientation
phase of the OODA Loop.
Striking at the Achilles Heel of Integrated
Marketing - Careful planning, coordination,
and integration of all company resources is the
key to success, right? Only if you don't have
competent competition, argues Matthew Syrett, VP
of Grey Interactive.