The OODA Ring, also known as Boyd’s Cycle, is a decision-making tool originally designed to assist fighter pilots in aerial combat, even with incomplete data. Behind the OODA loop lies the philosophy that reacting faster to changing circumstances puts your situation at a competitive advantage and thus you win.
This issue will be as effective in business development as it is in air battles. In these two environments, you may never have complete and comprehensive data available. OODA is a loop, meaning you can change your performance by making more information available.
Four sides of the OODA ring
The OODA ring process was developed by John Boyd, a military strategist, and consists of a combination of the following four words:
OODA’s main goal is to help you make quick decisions so that you can break the decision cycle of your enemies. In short, this is a technique for winning face-to-face competitions.
Who is John Boyd?
John Boyd was a US Air Force military strategist, pilot, and colonel who designed the OODA ring as a way for fighter pilots to win air battles during the war with Korea.
The basic premise behind the ring was that the pilot who could fly the fastest would win because their quick-change must be able to continue to respond to the situation they were in before.
OODA Ring definition
In the image below you can see the simplified version of the OODA Ring:
The purpose of using the OODA loop is to filter existing information, but it quickly in the text, and decide the most appropriate ones based on what you know about a situation.
If you can advance faster than your opponent through the OODA ring, you will be one step ahead because when your opponent reacts to this change, he will be in a better position with you.
In other words, you have already entered the OODA loop and gone through the important steps. Therefore, they (your competitors) respond to outdated information, which makes their next move a late action. As your competitors realize that they will leave the stage at any stage, they become confused and terrified. At this point, it becomes clear to your opponent that they have lost. This in itself breaks their desire for war.
As you progress, the situation may change or new information may be revealed. For this reason, you may need to cancel or postpone your scheduled action to interpret the latest information at any time.
Examine the four principles in OODA Ring
Before looking at an example in this regard, let us examine in detail the main steps of the OODA loop:
The observation phase speaks volumes about the collection of information or data. At this stage, you are trying to understand what factors change in the indoor environment and what things in the outdoor environment.
In practice, this means understanding your data, competitors’ strategies and movements, and broader trends in your industry and community. The important point to understand is that today’s data may become obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, you should gather your information as soon as possible and be ready to make decisions based on it.
You can collect a lot of data, but do not forget that speed is also essential. So you choose the best way to continue using your path, even if they are incomplete. You do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo.
This is the most important step in this circle. Because it talks about analyzing and sanitizing the data you have collected. At the end of this step, you need to know what options are available to you.
The purpose of this step is to identify errors or gaps in your previous thinking or that of others. If you can find these gaps before you start your journey, you can use them to your advantage. The sooner you can see the gap, the sooner you can redirect to use it.
If you’ve seen The Big Short, you know how Michael Bury (played by Christine Bell) realizes that many of his subordinate loans are probably defaults. This is a mismatch because the general consensus at the time was that housing prices would rise forever.
As a result, he directs his company by betting against the housing market. The fall in this area in 2008 was terrible for everyone, except for a few who saw the inconsistency and oriented accordingly.
Note that Boyd identified genetic inheritance, cultural traditions, past experiences, analysis, and new information as factors needed in the orientation phase.
In the previous two steps, it should create a lot of ideas for how you work. In this step, you choose which option to follow. The option you choose will be the best for you to achieve the goal of the organization.
Another point to consider at this stage is that you are hypothesizing which action is best (and even best) for you. Now is the time to test that hypothesis as soon as possible.
The final stage of the OODA loop is in action. All previous steps will lead to this step. Only with logical and quick action can you defeat your competitors.
Note that it is up to you to decide whether to fully implement the idea or to test it as a hypothesis. By considering action as a test, you can create learning conditions faster. This gives you the right feedback to start the OODA loop from scratch and consider this new data as additional input.
The result of OODA Ring speech
The OODA loop allows you to quickly adapt to highly dynamic environments and beat your competitors. The OODA loop is a continuous process and a dynamic cycle. The stages of observation, orientation, decision-making, and action determine the main activities of the cycle. Finally, by relying on the principles of this circle, you can speed up your decision-making.