essential previous learningNone

The OODA Loop

Make better decisions

Key learning outcomes:

  • Learn about the four stages of the model – observe, orient, decide and act.
  • Acknowledge the impact of the information-gathering process on the decisions you make.
  • Explain why people may interpret information differently.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of resolving situations swiftly.


The OODA (observe, orient, decide and act) loop is a proven decision-making tool that has its origins in military air-to-air combat. Having the ability to make quick and smart decisions can make the difference between life and death when you are engaged in a dogfight as a fighter pilot. The consequences might not be so significant when you are making business decisions, but without doubt, success comes to those who make the right decisions in the timeliest manner.

The OODA loop was designed by military strategist John Boyd. Boyd was a former pilot and colonel in the US Air Force, and through observation of fighter pilots in action, he discovered that a pilot with access to more detailed information could defeat an opponent even if that opponent was in a superior aircraft. By studying dogfights between the American F-86s and the Soviet MIG-15s, he discovered that the American pilots were able to achieve more victories due to the additional information they gained simply by having a more expansive view from their cockpit. This additional information enabled them to assess a situation more thoroughly and therefore make better decisions.

The model was quickly adopted for use in both military and business strategies. Just like in battle, in business it is important to try and keep one step ahead of your market and competition. The greater the information available to you, the faster and more effective your decision-making will be. In this article we will take you through the steps of the OODA loop and show you how you can use the model in your everyday business environment.

The OODA loop

The name suggests that the OODA model is just one loop; however, in reality the model is best described as a cycle as shown in the diagram below.

Would you like to see the whole article?


Would you like to start driving positive changes in your business? Would you like to see increased productivity and profitability? Of course you would!

As part of our commitment to being a low cost yet highly effective service to help owners and managers of small to medium sized business, we are now offering the first month of your membership for just $1! This means you will get full access to all of the learning articles, tools and tips that our website has to offer and with a commitment to upload at least another 150 learning articles through 2015 there is also plenty more learning on the way. On top of this you will also receive our weekly newsletter to keep you updated on new learning for the week and much, much more!

You can cancel at any time, however, if you see the value in what we’re offering (and we’re sure you will!) your membership will automatically continue after your trial at the low cost of just $19.95 per month. So what are you waiting for? For just $1 you are getting full access to all of our content for 30 days risk-free, so come on and join our community today!


Success is giving it your Absolute Best!