Showing all posts tagged #chet-richards:


Peeringly deeply clipping

Posted on December 1st, 2020

De rerum natura. Here’s Boyd’s definition of "insight" again: Ability to peer into and discern the inner nature or workings of things. 
 My first reaction when I read this was "Yawn." I mean, who wouldn’t want the talent to "peer into and discern the inner nature or workings of things"? And in fact, up until it suddenly appeared in slide 144, Boyd hadn’t attached much importance to it. Just to give one indication, he began Pattern...

Sir John Richard Boyd? clipping

Posted on December 1st, 2020

Unlikely because he was a US citizen, and then he died in March 1997. However, he has been enormously influential in British politics over the last several years. In particular, he has been a significant source of ideas and inspiration for Dominic Cummings. Readers who are not citizens of the UK may not recognize Mr. Cummings. He ran the successful Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum and now holds the position of chi...

How Boyd finally got to the OODA loop clipping

Posted on December 1st, 2020

Chick Spinney, one of John Boyd’s closest associates, has revised his flow diagram depicting how Boyd’s strategic thinking evolved from his days flying F-86s in Korea in 1953 until his death in 1997. In this chart, "ODA" is "orient-decide-act," not "observe-decide-act." As Chuck recalls, Boyd added "observation" in 1975, about the time he retired from the Air Force. "LWF" is the Air Force’s Lightweight Fighter program, which culminat...

IOHAI clipping

Posted on December 1st, 2020

My co-editor, Chuck Spinney, and I have updated page 144 of Patterns of Conflict, the "Theme for Vitality and Growth." The last full edition of Patterns carries a date of December 1986. Even after he quit issuing new editions of the briefing, however, Boyd continued to evolve these ideas, and in 1989, he changed page 144 in a major way. Here is page 144 in the 1986 edition: What Boyd did was replace "adaptability" with "agility" and...

An Orientation for IOHAI clipping

Posted on December 1st, 2020

Unlike "agility," Boyd did define "orientation," in Organic Design for Command and Control (1987). Before giving his definition, he offered a preliminary thought, on page 13: Orientation, seen as a result, represents images, views, or impressions of the world shaped by genetic heritage, cultural tradition, previous experiences, unfolding circumstances and the processes of analyses and synthesis. (Emphasis in original) Sharp eyed ...

IOHAI clipping

Posted on September 14th, 2020

My co-editor, Chuck Spinney, and I have updated page 144 of Patterns of Conflict, the "Theme for Vitality and Growth." The last full edition of Patterns carries a date of December 1986. Even after he quit issuing new editions of the briefing, however, Boyd continued to evolve these ideas, and in 1989, he changed page 144 in a major way. Here is page 144 in the 1986 edition:What Boyd did was replace "adaptability" with "agility" and ...

Auftragstaktik in one simple diagram clipping

Posted on May 24th, 2020

The concept of Auftragstaktik is more complicated than just "Tell them what to do, then walk away." The root of "Auftragstaktik" is a German word for "contract," and that’s how Boyd describes mission command in Patterns, (p. 76): A contract, even a conceptual one, means negotiation and salesmanship, as you can see. For example, does the subordinate understand how their mission fits into the overall operational concept? Are you conf...

Boyd's OODA 'Loop," Really Final Edition clipping

Posted on March 31st, 2020

The Norwegian Defense University has just published a new version of "Boyd’s OODA Loop" in their journal, Necesse, edited by Royal Norwegian Naval Academy. I had thought that the previous version was about as close to perfection as can be found on this Earth, but alas Necesse is a peer-reviewed journal, and "Reviewer No. 2" ripped it to shreds. After I calmed down, it was clear that Number 2 was right. So the edition published in the...

Inner conflict: Dragons and OODA loops clipping

Posted on March 17th, 2020

Inner conflict: Dragons and OODA loops Artem Grinblat My fascination with dragons started when as a boy. I’ve heard that a crane would beat a snake, deflecting and countering with its beak, that tiger beats crane, overcoming its defences with a flurry of paws, that snake beats tiger, finding a gap for precision strike, and that dragon beats them all, having four legs as a tiger, tail as a snake and long neck as a crane. ...

Creating agile leaders clipping

Posted on November 28th, 2019

All forms of mission-oriented leadership, from maneuver warfare to the Toyota Production System, share a common foundation: Fire up the creativity and initiative of all members of the organization and harmonize their efforts to accomplish the objectives of the organization. Such an orientation allows them to create and exploit fleeting opportunities before their opponents can understand what is going on. As Don Vandergriff quotes on...

Magic and illusion: Foundation for leadership clipping

Posted on November 9th, 2019

Aspiring leaders typically concentrate on history and case studies, creating theories of success and failure in their disciplines. This is fine but won’t produce great practitioners in either war or business. As the German General Hermann Balck once told Boyd, "The training of the infantryman can never be too many sided." Miyamoto Musashi in 1645 wrote that samurai (much less top-level commanders) should study the arts and sciences...

Not John Boyd clipping

Posted on June 27th, 2019

Not John Boyd. But a good video, nonetheless. Here’s Prof. Daniel Bonevac giving an introductory lecture on the OODA loop: Professor Bonevac is a member of, and was formerly chair of, the Philosophy Department at the University of Texas. I don’t know when this lecture was given, but the video was posted in April of this year. One of the interesting things about it is that Professor Bonevac is teaching a class on Organizational Ethic...

Continuing John Boyd's Legacy by Chet Richards clipping

Posted on June 26th, 2019

October 31, 2005 Beyond Patterns of Conflict? By Chet RichardsAs many readers of this site know, John Boyd was heavily influenced by the ideas of the Austrian-American mathematician Kurt Gödel, particularly, the notion of incompleteness. Although Gödel worked in the rarified realm of foundations of mathematics, the notion that no even moderately complex mathematical system can be complete formed a critical elemen...

To Be or To Do?

Posted on June 25th, 2019

[July 1, 2007 – Of all the things Boyd wrote or said, we probably get the most requests for his "To be or to do?" invitation. Although Boyd associated with many junior officers during his Air Force career, there were a few, perhaps half a dozen, that he had such respect for that he invited them to join him on his quest for change. Each one would be offered the choice: Be someone – be recognized by the system and promoted – or do some...

John Boyd Compendium

Posted on June 24th, 2019

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They k...

Zen and the Art of Business Books clipping

Posted on March 24th, 2019

This is Tokyo, circa 1832. The print is "Nihonbashi no hakuu" by the Ukiyo-e master Andō Hiroshige. Many years ago, my wife found a copy in a consignment store in Atlanta. I don’t remember what she paid for it, but she assures me that framing it cost many times the purchase price. Since we’ve been here in South Carolina, we’ve had it reframed to show off the stamps and writing around the borders. Intro to Chapter 6, Surprise and An...

Is it agility or adaptability? clipping

Posted on December 21st, 2018

I tend to think of "agility" as adaptability with a time dimension, that is, the ability to adapt more rapidly to new situations than can competitors or opponents. That may not, however, be the only or even a very good way to think about these concepts. Here’s an alternative view:AQ is hot right now – but is it the Adaptability Quotient or the Agility Quotient?Kristopher Floyd Founder and CEO, TeamMate AINovember 13, 2018 Originally...

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy, September 11, 2003 clipping

Posted on May 22nd, 2018

A Short Tutorial on the Moral Essence of Grand Strategy September 11, 2003 Comment: #491 Discussion Threads - Comment #s: 490 and referenced comments. Attached References: [Ref.1] Richard Bernstein, "Foreign Views Of U.S. Darken Since Sept. 11," New York Times, September 11, 2003, Pg. 1 On the second anniversary of 9/11, the world-wide outpouring sympathy a...