Showing posts from May, 2008

One More OODA Loop Through the IOHAI Hoop

In a previous article I wrote about IOHAI - John Boyd's leadership model. I used Intermediate Objective maps to deconstruct IOHAI in a manner consistent with the ideas in Boyd's essay Destruction & Creation. A friend told me it was the most incomprehensible essay I had ever written. I regard that as a challenge to make one more OODA loop through the IOHAI hoop. (Though I should warn you I write to comprehend, not to be comprehended.) In the previous article I mentioned there was another way to decontruct IOHAI. Actually, there is an infinity of ways. Here is one, created under the assumption that Orientation means "good Orientation". Under that assumption, Insight becomes a prerequisite for Orientation. I have also made Orientation a prerequisite for Harmony. We cannot achieve Harmony if we are no good at Orienting ourselves: Now let's look at Initiative, hanging there all by itself. Initiative is a personal property. Some people have more, others have less. I

Mission Statements Ackording to Dr. Ackoff and John Boyd

I just read an article about mission statements by Dr. Russel Ackoff. The article is old, but Ackoffs views are certainly worth thinking about. Compare with Boyd (Patterns of Conflict, slide 144): Unifying vision A grand ideal, overarching theme, or noble philosophy that represents a coherent paradigm within which individuals as well as societies can shape and adapt to unfolding circumstances—yet offers a way to expose flaws of competing or adversary systems. Looks like we can take elements from Dr. Ackoff's article, and use it to better understand what Boyd meant. Or, we can use Boyd's ideas about organization in order to understand the importance and relevance of Dr. Ackoff's ideas about mission statements. Deconstructing again, and I haven't even drunk any coffee today.

Deconstructing IOHAI

In 1976 John Boyd wrote a famous essay, Destruction & Creation. The essay is essentially about how creativity works. Boyd's idea was that a body of knowledge in the human mind can be likened to an island consisting of connected information. Creativity is the process of destroying the connections between the pieces of information, and constructing new patterns by assembling the knowledge in different ways. Sometimes we just break a single body of knowledge apart, and reassemble it again. Sometimes we insert pieces of information from other bodies of knowledge. This process of de struction and construction of patterns of knowledge is sometimes called analysis and synthesis , but there is a simpler word: deconstruction . (In case this article gets too heavy, check out the Babylon 5 episode The Deconstruction of Falling Stars .) Boyd deconstructed military strategy in his Discourse on Winning and Losing . (Scroll about half-way down the web page to find the Discourse.) Of course,

Knowledge Associates

I do not advertise much in this blog, not even my own services. Sometimes I make exceptions though: Knowledge Associates is a new Theory Of Constraints consultancy in Victoria, Australia. If you live in the neighborhood (i.e. the Southern Hemisphere), and want a problem solved in your organization, why not talk to them? They might be able to help. They certainly do have an attractive offer . While on the subject of advertising, if you live in the Northern hemisphere and want a similarly attractive offer, there is only one place to go that I know of. And now back to our regular programming.

IO map for Strategic Methods

The IO map above describes the Necessary Conditions that must be fulfilled in order to have an organization that can create and execute strategy effectively in a fast changing environment. The idea isn't mine. Originally it is Colonel John Boyd's idea. William Dettmer translated Boyd's Maneuver Warfare into a civilian version, Strategic Navigation . I have added some of the obstacles (hexagons) that an organization must overcome in order to create and execute strategy effectively. The map is interesting both because it explains what it is that makes Strategic Navigation and Maneuver Warfare effective, and because it provides a simple way of evaluating any strategic method. If the necessary conditions aren't fulfilled, then the method, even though it may have great strengths, also has weaknesses that will keep it from being as effective as it should be. You may have read critical studies that show strategic methods often do not work. Boyd worked out why some methods do w