Robert Fink is on the leadership team at Palantir, where he has helped shape their approach to product design and architecture. He has also played major roles in ensuring the company stays focused on the mission needs of customers today, and, through shaping R&D, is helping ensure the company is better able to serve the needs of future customers and future missions.
In his time at Palantir Robert has participated in several responses to crisis situations where data solutions were needed quickly in order to save lives and limit loss of property. He captured many lessons learned from past responses to crisis situations in a recent Medium post titled: In crisis response, answer the simple questions first. The lessons learned from this post is very relevant to the situation many decision-makers are wrestling with right now so we sought out time with Robert to join us on the OODAcast.
Topics we reviewed with Robert include:
- Doing business in a global corporation where most of the team are operating out of their homes
- Lessons learned from crisis response including disaster relief work globally
- Lessons learned from support to public health
- Use cases for data integration and analysis in public health, including long-term research and informing operational decisions
- Privacy in a crisis
- Speed of delivery of solutions in a crisis (how can solutions be fielded faster?)
- What is data governance and what parts are still applicable in a crisis?
- What is meant by focusing on “simple questions first”
- In Crisis Response, Ask Simple Questions First: The article that inspired this discussion
- The Executive’s Guide to Quantum Computing: What business decision-makers need to know now about quantum superiority
- Context on Make vs Buy in the Federal Ecosystem: If you know of anyone anywhere in government who is thinking of building/coding a new data system to track issues around the pandemic they should just stop and should buy a commercial platform.
- OODAcast on YouTube: OODA’s YouTube Channel
- OODAcast Podcast: For audio to go
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
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
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
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
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
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