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OODAcast – A Conversation with Dan Gerstein of RAND Corporation

OODA CTO Bob Gourley is joined by technologist and national security expert Dan Gerstein from Rand Corporation.  Dan is also the author of the recently released book entitled “The Story of Technology“.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Dan provides insights relevant to business and government leaders on:

  • How we can all learn from the history of technology to better understand the situation today and forecast what will come tomorrow
  • Approaches leaders can take to prepare for the future
  • The role of education and writing and approach that agile/learning organizations take to career development. 
  • Advice for those seeking to educate themselves for the future.
  • How people can shape the future of technology. 
  • The role of governments in the future of technology. 
  • The concept of a patent system where it takes 18 months to get a patent but innovation and creation occurs much faster. 
  • The need for law enforcement access to encrypted data and the long running DoJ/Apple debate.
  • The role of technology in spreading misinformation and countering it.

Guest Bio:

Dr. Daniel Gerstein is a national security professional who has served as a senior government civilian, in uniform, in industry, in think tanks and in academia. As a senior government civilian, he served in the Department of Homeland Security as Under Secretary (Acting) and Deputy Under Secretary in the Science and Technology Directorate where he directed the organization’s over $1 billion annual budget. During his service in the U.S. Army, he served on four continents while participating in combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and homeland security and served for more than a decade in the Pentagon in various high-level staff assignments. Dr. Gerstein also has extensive experience in international negotiations having served on the Holbrooke Delegation that negotiated the peace settlement in Bosnia. He is a frequent national security contributor and has published numerous books, articles and commentaries on a wide variety of national and homeland security issues. He serves as a member of several corporate boards and advisory committees.

Podcast Version:

Related Resources:

  • A Decision-Makers’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence: A plain english overview with the insights you need to drive corporate decisions
  • The Executive’s Guide to Quantum Computing: What business decision-makers need to know now about quantum superiority
  • The Executive’s Guide to the Revolution in Biology: An overview of key thrusts of the transformation underway in biology and offers seven topics business leaders should consider when updating business strategy to optimize opportunity because of these changes.
  • The Future of Enterprise Cloud Computing: Cloud Computing has been a key part of most interesting business strategies over the last decade. It has also been critical in bringing high end compute power to individuals around the world (Cloud services enable most highly recognizable services and apps, from Uber to Zoom and most everything in between). But what will come next?
  • OODA COVID-19 Sense-making: A dynamic resource for OODA Network members looking for Coronavirus/COVID-19 information to drive their decision-making process. We’ll update it with new links as we encounter them. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but rather a compilation of the most useful resources.
  • OODAcast on YouTube: OODA’s YouTube Channel
  • OODAcast Podcast: For audio to go

Additional Resources:

A Practitioner’s View of Corporate Intelligence

Organizations in competitive environments should continually look for ways to gain advantage over their competitors. The ability of a business to learn and translate that learning into action, at speeds faster than others, is one of the most important competitive advantages you can have. This fact of business life is why the model of success in Air to Air combat articulated by former Air Force fighter pilot John Boyd, the Observe – Orient – Decide – Act (OODA) decision loop, is so relevant in business decision-making today.

In this business model, decisions are based on observations of dynamic situations tempered with business context to drive decisions and actions. These actions should change the situation meaning new observations and new decisions and actions will follow. This all underscores the need for a good corporate intelligence program. See: A Practitioner’s View of Corporate Intelligence

Optimizing Corporate Intelligence

This post dives into actionable recommendation on ways to optimize a corporate intelligence effort. It is based on a career serving large scale analytical efforts in the US Intelligence Community and in applying principles of intelligence in corporate America. See: Optimizing Corporate Intelligence

Mental Models For Leadership In The Modern Age

The study of mental models can improve your ability to make decisions and improve business outcomes. This post reviews the mental models we recommend all business and government decision makers master, especially those who must succeed in competitive environments. See: Mental Models for Leadership In The Modern Age

An Executive’s Guide To Cognitive Bias in Decision Making

Cognitive Bias and the errors in judgement they produce are seen in every aspect of human decision-making, including in the business world. Companies that have a better understanding of these cognitive biases can optimize decision making at all levels of the organization, leading to better performance in the market. Companies that ignore the impact these biases have on corporate decision-making put themselves at unnecessary risk. This post by OODA Co-Founder Bob Gourley provides personal insights into key biases as well as mitigation strategies you can put in place right now. See: An Executive’s Guide To Cognitive Bias in Decision Making

OODA On Corporate Intelligence In The New Age

We strongly encourage every company, large or small, to set aside dedicated time to focus on ways to improve your ability to understand the nature of the significantly changed risk environment we are all operating in today, and then assess how your organizational thinking should change. As an aid to assessing your corporate sensemaking abilities, this post summarizes OODA’s research and analysis into optimizing corporate intelligence for the modern age. See: OODA On Corporate Intelligence In The New Age

Useful Standards For Corporate Intelligence

This post discusses standards in intelligence, a topic that can improve the quality of all corporate intelligence efforts and do so while reducing ambiguity in the information used to drive decisions and enhancing the ability of corporations to defend their most critical information. See: Useful Standards For Corporate Intelligence

In Business, Like In War, Data Is A Weapon

Broadly speaking, a weapon is anything that provides an advantage over an adversary. In this context, data is, and always has been, a weapon. This post, part of our Intelligent Enterprise series, focuses on how to take more proactive action in use of data as a weapon. See: Data is a Weapon

Fine Tuning Your Falsehood Detector: Time to update the models you use to screen for deception, dishonesty, corruption, fraud and falsity

The best business leaders are good at spotting falsehoods. Some joke and say the have a “bullshit detector”, but that humorous description does not do service to the way great leaders detect falsehoods. Bullshit is easy to detect. You see it and smell it and if you step in it it is your own fault. In the modern world falsehoods are far more nuanced. Now more than ever, business and government leaders need to ensure their mental models for detecting falsehood are operating in peak condition. For more see: Fine Tuning Your Falsehood Detector: Time to update the models you use to screen for deception, dishonesty, corruption, fraud and falsity

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes OODALoop.com. Bob is the co-host of the popular podcast The OODAcast. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency.