Marc Ambinder of USC Annenberg School For Communication and Journalism
Marc Ambinder is a journalist, researcher, historian, author of bestselling books and a teacher/mentor to many. We invited him on the OODAcast to help our community as we continue to look for insights that can drive operational decisions.
From Marc’s bio:
For 20 years, Marc Ambinder has told true and complex stories about the world, revealed some of its deeper secrets, and has taught thousands of others how to do the same.
He has managed teams of reporters, consultants and students, and has co-created several innovative digital news products. As a reporter, Ambinder held positions at the zenith of journalism (ABC News, CBS News, the Atlantic). He has collaborated with industry (Disney/ABC, Facebook, Palantir) and has made excursions into academia (Penn, USC). An SME on national security, American politics, elections and government, corporate communications, digital and cybersecurity and nuclear policy, he is at present the counter-disinformation lead for USC’s Election Cybersecurity initiative.
This discussion covered many topics of high interest including Marc’s books:
- The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983
- The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army
- Deep State: Inside the government secrecy industry
We also tapped into Marc’s close tracking of the dynamics around the current pandemic as well as his work in helping to improve the security of the nation’s elections to gather insights on what the future may hold.
- Marc Ambinder on LinkedIn
- Marc Ambinder on Twitter
- Tighten Your OODA Loop on Covid-19
- How the Coronavirus will impact your mid to long range strategic planning
- Mitigating Risks To America’s Cognitive Infrastructure
- OODA’s Special Reporting on the Federal Technology Market.
- The Top 10 Security, Technology, and Business Books
- 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