This is a piece on John Boyd’s Decision Making Process a.k.a. the “OODA Loop” and more importantly – how it rules all, especially at mass murder scenes.
Everyone needs to understand this. It’s a life, business, community, and even a nation saver.
If your a business owner you had better get this one right – because with the wrong decision on this you will lose your shirt and sink your enterprise, and if you’re in the insurance industry you will need to recalibrate to survive.
Boyd is ubiquitous – and that gives me hope.
I recently ran into a kindred spirit (H/T M.B.) who has shown me just how wide and deep Col. Boyd’s influence has spread through many different domains. It blew my mind at the time, but now I can’t imagine why I could have been shocked about it. Great ideas are contagious, and Boyd’s ideas are great, so of course, they have and will continue to catch on, and none-too-soon in my opinion.
I believe when all is said and done; a freer, safer, more moral, more ethical, and (because the OODA Loop rules all), a greatly decentralized (I predict around county level) society – will be able to point back to Boyd’s theories as the bedrock they were and will continue built on. Because “Boyd is in the Details” decentralization seems inevitable if we are to move forward as a civilized society.
I say all this about Boyd and his Decision Making Process for two main reasons, i) Boyd’s theories are widely popular because they seem to work consistently, and ii) I really want to impress upon you that if there is one thing most people miss – it’s that the OODA Loop isn’t just important, it’s everything that matters, especially in a lethal force engagement.
A lot has been written on Col. Boyd and the basics of the OODA Loop over the years so I’m not going to rehash the basics here, instead, we will look at the universality of Boyd and how it applies to YOU.
If you understand Boyd’s OODA Loop to a level where you have a deep enough appreciation; one in which you know internally that if you ignore the OODA Loop even a little it can bite you – you are probably going to follow all of this quite nicely.
If on the other hand, you don’t know about Boyd or his OODA Loop, or God help you – you think you can ignore Boyd or take him lightly – you do so to your own detriment. I highly recommend you brush up on it and then get back to this article.
I say this because if you ignore Boyd you are making bad decisions. I can say this because your decisions are based on incomplete models of your miss-observed and therefore faulty reality. In doing so, you are literally giving up the initiative by making bad decisions and enacting them with less than optimum results.
In business, as in life, this means if you’re fortunate and live to adapt to reality – you may move on to try again. If not – you (your enterprise) perish.
Sure, you may not know about Boyd and you may be good and get lucky here and there, but you will be looking for a pattern without the template (Boyd again) and wasting sword motion (effort over time, again, Boyd is here). This means you will remain in a reactive mode exposed to an ever-dwindling pool of contacts and resources (again, all Boyd) until you are driven out of business or – conform with reality and become consistently proactive and more effective instead of consistently reactive and less effective.
Again, you guessed it – that’s all Boyd.
If you don’t have at least a fundamental working knowledge of Boyd you won’t be able to effectively plan because you don’t understand what is happening in the reality of the billions, if not trillions of different little and big OODA Loops that are going on around you all of the time. Most of these loops don’t affect you, but the ones that do, even the small ones, can be doozies.
If you don’t understand how those billions/trillions of OODA Loops can affect you during the best of times, you won’t have an appreciation of how they will affect you during the worst of times – like a mass murder/high-stress lethal force encounter in your home, business, church, school, or your community.
If you don’t understand Boyd – you can’t effectively act upon the real issues as those who do understand him better (even if by luck, chance, or experience), will consistently out cycle you. Because of this, your actions will gain you little or no real change to your environment while your adversaries continue to eat you alive at an ever-increasing rate.
If it’s just business, you lose money, but if your security plan is based upon some shyster “tactical” guy, a government flunky, advice from your HR, or IT gurus which basically advocates the equivalent of high-tech Duck and Cover drills – you are NOT going to be prepared for the shitstorm that rolls over you during a mass murder spree.
This holds true regardless of the weapons used.
All your security theatre will be exposed for what it is – maybe expensive, but ultimately – useless theatrics.
Even worse, you won’t know how to prevent it from happening again, and the odds are that you will just spring for more grand security theatre.
By way of example: King Soopers
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our associates and customers,” Kelli McGannon, a King Soopers spokeswoman, said Wednesday.
That may be, but as D.C. has shown us time and time again, just throwing a ton of money at a problem to just do “something”, even with the best of intentions – doesn’t solve the problem.
It certainly won’t for King Soopers or their community.
The article went on to list a series of utterly ineffective policies, procedures, and political objectives they will put into place to supposedly prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.
But here’s the thing. Because of their ignorance of Boyd and the reality of the Decision Making Process – Kelli, King Soopers, and their insurance companies are not just wrong, they are dead wrong. And the cost will be paid for in more human lives and suffering.
What they have instead assured, should they and others who follow this path is; this kind of thing will continue to happen more frequently, to more individuals, companies, churches, schools, and communities who are ignorant of, or ignoring, Boyd and the OODA Loop.
Allow me to explain.
What matters when you have a mass murder running around shooting/stabbing/bludgeoning people to death or otherwise causing serious bodily injury – is having a counter-violence capability (and the more the better) on hand that can either stop the bad guys OODA Loops or interrupt his OODA Loops long enough to stop/mitigate the ongoing massacre.
Don’t read that wrong – I’m not making my argument based on the Bill of Rights but rather advocation the need based on the reality of Boyd’s OODA Loops and what happens when you ignore that.
That’s why cops carry guns, and that’s why your security (including you) needs to be on hand, armed, and well trained.
If you’re a business owner you have to ask yourself “If something pops off here, how many of my people are exposed and for how long?”
The statistical answer on that is about 1 person shot every 7 seconds until the murder is stopped.
A lot of those get clumped/channeled together into areas where they are shot in groups like so many fish in a battel – and there is usually a bit of walking/hunting for the next group to slay.
It’s important to note that not everyone dies immediately from being shot/stabbed, etc., all too many die from a loss of blood over time (EMS typically can’t enter the scene until after it has been deemed safe by the police), which accounts for far too many of the wounded who could have survived if basic Stop the Bleed training were applied by trained employees… once the bad guy has been stopped or isolated. Again, this is all Boydian.
So when the cops are minutes away (if you’re lucky) then those 7-seconds stack up quickly while your customers, employees, and friends lie bleeding out and more gunshots ring out.
You don’t want to be that CEO.
Gun control won’t work in reality because it centralizes the response to some “higher” level which takes time to call in – and your OODA Loops expand while the bad guys OODA Loops continue to go on uninterrupted. Time is Boyd’s domain and you are inexorably bound by it until the bad guy shoots you in the face or someone (you?) stop or at least interupt their OODA Loops.
That’s why mass murder is a thing all over the world, it can never be eliminated, you can only prepare for it and hope (thankfully the odds are WAY in your favor it won’t… but then again, the odds don’t matter when it happens to you and yours) that it never happens.
This is why good people stop getting injured as quickly when other good people with guns arrive and start laying down the hate, they interrupt the murderers OODA Loops.
Again, it’s that simple, and it’s EXTREEMLY effective in shutting it down.
All this bullshit about the run, hide, and fight (when it’s without firearms) is security theatre of the lowest form that will only fill body bags. It’s peddling unsound theory to people and organizations who don’t understand reality and how Boyd’s OODA Loop rules lethal force incidents.
It’s peddled by salesmen who apparently don’t understand what it is either.
Both the salesman and the client want to believe they can be safe without dealing with the reality of a high-stress lethal force incident without understanding the underlying mechanics. Therefore they wrongly institute “training” that teaches people to do things like throw sponges as simulated office objects at an armed assailant who is mostly cooperative during the act, with clients who are giggling about the training during the scenario.
From a professional trainer’s perspective, it’s as negligent as it is disgusting, suicidal, and will again be – again – ultimately tragic. Especially because it can all be avoided with even the most basic understanding of reality.
If you’re a business owner you had better face and brace for this, because you will see more of it until you and your community start dealing with it.
If you own an insurance company you had better understand what Boyd and the OODA Loop means to your actuaries.
Ask us how – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/smocko2da_security-corporatesecurity-activity-6777995211466436608-5T5a.