• The “OODA Loop” is a decision-making process originally developed by the military.

• Elite fighter pilot and retired Top Gun instructor David Berke says the loop can be used for any decision.

• It consists of four stages that repeatedly feed into each other: observe, orient, decide, and act.

American fighter pilots dominated their enemies in the Korean War.

Their planes — the F-86 Sabres and the MiG-15s — were fairly evenly matched, with the Soviet MiG-15 arguably better in some respects. It was the training of the pilots that made the difference.

One of those American pilots, John Boyd, developed a theory of decision-making that captured the American’s advantage in this conflict that he would later formalize as “the OODA Loop.” The acronym refers to the elements of the loop — Observe, Orient, Decide, Act — and became a defining element of Boyd’s writings on military strategy in the 1960s and ’70s.


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