Robert Wallace spent a 33 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and is widely known for the very well done books he and co-author Keith Melton have produced on the history, culture and tradecraft of intelligence (including the SpyCraft book which was turned into a Netflix series and the Spy Sites series of books documenting the intelligence history of Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia). This OODAcast examines Robert’s career from the beginning, resulting in interesting stories and insights into his leadership and management style relevant to any leader in business or government today. His professional life began as he received an MA in Political Science from Kansas University in 1968 and then received a draft notice which resulted in his two years of service in the US Army, including service in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta leading long-range reconnaissance patrol teams.
Blake Bartlett is the CEO of Janes, the well known and trusted provider of open source defense intelligence. In this OODAcast we examine lessons learned from Blake’s career and path from a young student with a desire for a career in sports to success in the domain of sales. Blakes walks us through some key moments in his leadership at Janes including the point that kicked off a transformation to ensure their data and information is not only trusted and relevant but is more available, accessible and consumable by customers and is delivered the way organizations need it to fuel their decision-making.
Michele Wucker is specialist in risk management and crisis anticipation and is author of the book “The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore”. While we’ve all become familiar with Taleb’s concept of Black Swans, we must equally become intimately aquatinted with Wucker’s Gray Rhinos as they provide more obvious opportunities for actually anticipating and managing risk.
During this interview, Michele takes us through the concept of Gray Rhinos with real-world historical examples, discussion of future Gray Rhinos, and strategies for engaging in real actions to identify, respond to, and mitigate future Gray Rhinos in business, society, and global affairs. The concept of a Gray Rhino is hugely important and has become embedded in how we evaluate risks at OODA with our customers.
Vikram Sharma is the founder and CEO of Canberra Australia based QuintessenceLabs. His company provides solutions based on quantum technology to strengthen cryptographic key creation and management at scale. This is an urgent need in this era of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, and key to protecting data now and into the future. In this OODAcast we ask Vikram for his views on what every CEO, including non-technical CEOs, need to know about the world of quantum effects. He provides explanations in very clear ways that can help inform business strategies.
Former CIA Officer Rob Richer on the Geopolitical Landscape, Leadership Lessons Learned, and Supporting Decision-makers
Rob Richer is a highly regarded advisor to international executives and global government leaders including several heads of state. Rob has a well informed perspective on international risks and opportunities and an ability to analyze and distill observations in a way that is meaningful for your decision making process. In this OODAcast we cover the current state of global and domestic affairs, key leadership and decision-making lessons learned derived from Rob’s extensive CIA career.
As a bonus, we talk to Rob about how the character Mitch Rapp is based upon him. Rapp is the main character in a 18 book series by the late bestselling author Vince Flynn. One of the books was also produced into the film American Assassin.
This week’s OODAcast features an interview with Camila Russo, the author of the book “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum”. Camila is also the founder of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) site The Defiant, which tracks developments, emerging trends, and news in the fast moving DeFi space.
In this interview, Camila shares how her experience covering fiat currency issues as a reporter for Bloomberg sparked her interest in Bitcoin and how she focused her attention on the Ethereum project early in its development. We discuss Camila’s book and the emergence of Ethereum as well as the most interesting applications of Ethereum, future disruptions, and the general trends driving the DeFi space.
Former Congressman Will Hurd joins us on this episode of OODACast to discuss what he has learned about business and entrepreneurship from a diverse career in the intelligence community, elected office and the private sector. Will has successfully leveraged the skills of a CIA operations officer in a variety of contexts, including the founding of cybersecurity firm FusionX with OODA co-founder, Matt Devost. Will most recently served in Congress as the representative for Texas’ 23rd district from 2015 to 2021.
Kathy and Randy Pherson are authors of the book Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence. Both had successful careers in the US Intelligence Community. While they were at the CIA they pioneered new methods of risk analysis and analytical methods, and helped bring those methods to widespread adoption in the community. Both are also successful business leaders who created companies that build value for others. Their focus in business is on helping others improve their analytical methods. They write about and teach best practices in analysis.
Ric Prado has been described by CIA leadership as the closest thing to 007 that the United States has ever had. Ric’s life is packed with more adventure and operations than your favorite spy novel series. Coming out of the shadows, this is Ric’s first video interview and covers his career, operational decision-making lessons learned, why we need a next generation of CIA agents, and we even dive into some more obscure topics like CIA knife fighting and how he came to train the King of Jordan.
OODAcast: Matt Devost Provides Context on the Top 10 Security, Technology, and Business Books of 2020
In this OODAcast, Bob Gourley and Matt Devost discuss Matt’s picks for the Top 10 Security, Technology, and Business Books of the year. Now in its 5th year, Matt’s top ten book list is one of the most popular posts of the year and we look forward to interviewing several of the authors on OODAcast in 2021.