Since that post, I have been in an email conversation with
an expert on OODA loops. He asked me not to quote him, so I will neither use his words nor his name (if he lets me, sure sure I will!) Dr. Chet Richards of DNI. The expert informed me that my drawing contained an important mistake. That is, the flow from Observe to Act is the primary link out of Observe. Most actions are not “decided” upon, so the Observe-Decide flow is a secondary link.
So by thickening the Observe-Act link and thinning the Observe-Decide and Decide-Act links, the flowchart becomes:
However, two things looked wrong on this new version to me
- If the Observe-Act link is a primary flow, then why isn’t the arrow from Observe to Act straight?
- If a man goes out of his way to decide an action, then it makes sense that that decision will always be observed and always be acted upon. My “corrected” flow chart implies either one or the other may happen.
New problem: the flowchart is ugly. The Decide-Observe link is the only curved line. The flowchart isn’t close to symmetrical.
That’s easy enough to fix:
Corrected OODA Flowchart
Observe the fixed OODA loop!
Orient yourself to its wonder!
(No decision is necessary to…)
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