The original OODA loop was developed in the 1950’s for the US Air Force by John Boyd. The four stage process stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. The OODA Loop was Boyd’s approach to outpacing and outsmarting enemy fighter pilots. This resulted in him being nicknamed “40 second Boyd” as he could destroy any enemy pilot within, you guessed it, forty seconds.

At 12HIGH we have taken Boyd’s model and adapted it to be the basis for our unique test & learn approach. The OODA loop has been applied to war, business and sport but our version is focused purely on rapid testing and learning.

“He who can handle the quickest rate of change survives.”

Lt. Colonel John Boyd

The core of the OODA Loop favours agility over raw power. Boyd did not have the fastest fighter planes but was able to outsmart his enemies through clear analysis, rapid decisions and disciplined chaos. We approach business the same way. Our OODA Loop can apply to any organisation who are willing to take a different approach to gain a competitive advantage.  

The 12HIGH OODA Loop Process

The four stages of the OODA Loop are Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. We have adapted each stage to create a process which enables organisations to test and learn rapidly.

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1 Observe

In the observation stage we are collecting as much unfiltered data, observations and information as possible within a short time frame. This creates a clear, unbiased view of the current situation. We want a clean windscreen to see the whole dog fight playing out in front of us.

2 Orient

In the orient stage, we take the unfiltered information from Observe and make sense of it. We are comparing what we know to what we are actually doing. In Boyd’s model, this was the most important stage of the OODA Loop as it is the opportunity to overcome inherent biases and influences which restrict us from making the best decisions.

3 Decide

In the Decide stage of the OODA Loop there are a number of options available to us and we will decide on one. We are creative in how we approach potential solutions and quickly decide the best one to move forward with. We make the best decision for this moment with the information we have at hand. We are confident in the decision but open to learn from it.

4 Act

The Act stage is where it all comes together and we make real, significant progression towards our goals. In the pilots world, this is firing the missile, taking a turn or retreating. For us, it is producing something tangible that can be put in front of our customers to create real insights.

“The fighter pilot who has the fastest OODA loop wins. The other one dies.”

Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder @ LinkedIn 

Benefits of the 12HIGH OODA Loop

  • Fast route to validation significantly saves resources on untested, inefficient and skewed projects
  • Open new revenue and innovation opportunities which would previously have been too difficult, too big or not seen
  • Simple, repeatable process enhances your teams capability to make unbiased, action orientated decisions
  • Adaptable for different organisations, resources and situations
  • Direct impact on team behaviours and thinking to enhance organisational culture and energy
  • Continually and directly co-create with your customers for enhanced customer understanding

At 12HIGH we have created a detailed process and set of services to help organisations complete their OODA Loop effectively.

Want to discuss how we can activate your strategy through the OODA Loop? Contact us.