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OODA On Corporate Intelligence In The New Age

This is part of a series providing insights aimed at corporate strategists seeking competitive advantage through better and more accurate decision-making. The full series is available at our special section on Decision Intelligence.  Members are also invited to discuss this topic at the OODA Member Forum.

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. The content below is informed by decades of experience in intelligence and is also informed by interviews of world class experts and corporate leaders. We arranged this list in rough order of recommended review:

  • 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.
  • Optimizing Corporate Intelligence: 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.
  • 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.
  • Useful Standards For Corporate Intelligence: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 focuses on how to take more proactive action in use of data as a weapon.

Recommended Actions:

  • Many of the references above were created for members of the OODA Network. For more information on this network C-Suite leaders can see our Subscription Page.
  • The insights in the material referenced above will need to be contextualized for your particular organization. Let us know if we can be assistance in that (a good way reach us on this topic is to join us in our member only discussion forum).
  • No matter what your strategy for corporate sensemaking, one thing is certain, it will only be optimized once. Your organization will need to continually review processes, data sources and analytical methodologies to ensure your organization is being well served. So build in agility and review what you are doing on a periodic basis
  • Stay up to speed on the nature of the geopolitical threat situation, the cyber threat and global technology developments and encourage your staff to do the same. All can sign up for the free OODA Daily Pulse which can help keep your extended team informed on key issues.
  • We also encourage all C-Suite leaders to stay informed of the rapidly changing dynamic in nation state threats since these are now posing significant risk to supply chains and business opportunities (see: Global Risk and Geopolitical Sensemaking).

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. Find Bob on Defcon.Social