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A Connection Between the Cynefin Framework and Boyd’s OODA loop


John Boyd’s Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) loop is often associated with fighter aviation where a human straps on a machine (fighter aircraft) and competes against another human-machine system in an aerial dual of compressed sense- and decision-making. This popular view of the OODA loop—a view where fast transients, mismatches, and agility ultimately determine who will survive and thrive in a dynamic environment—is not wrong, it is incomplete.

Instead, a more complete view of the OODA loop should include its connection to early complex adaptive systems thinking, a commonality of influence to Dave Snowden’s sense-making Cynefin framework.

Here is a short video where Dave Snowden makes that connection.