OODAcast: Kevin Roberts on Leadership, Decision-making, and Focused Action
Kevin Roberts has had an illustrious career spanning many industries over numerous continents including serving as Chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations, where he had responsibility for the effectiveness of several of the world’s leading advertising budgets including for clients Toyota and Procter & Gamble. Today, his company Red Rose Consulting counsels business leaders and employees on creative thinking, marketing, and leadership.
Kevin is the author of several best-selling books, including an OODA Top 10 Book of the Year for 2017; 64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World. OODA CEO, Matt Devost has given away dozens of copies of 64 Shots and it remains a personal favorite of his for the insight and inspiration it provides.
In this OODAcast, Kevin provides his perspective on leadership, creativity, decision-making, and driving focus and action to be successful in business and life.
- Are we living in a super-VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous)?
- How no plan survives the first 24 hours and how to engage in adaptive decision-making.
- The role data plays in decision-making and where data falls short.
- How leadership is about creating leaders, not great teams.
- The role focus plays in successful entrepreneurship.
- How to expand your frame of reference by studying other fields.
- How insights are not insightful.
- The link between storytelling and leadership.
- Hacking your way into the future.
- Managing through a crisis.
- Who inspires Kevin today and what is he reading.
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