Simon Terry

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The OODA Loop of Blogging

Work out loud and accelerate the benefits of blogging.

The OODA loop is one of my favourite strategic tools because it highlights the competitive advantage in speed and learning in a Responsive Organisation. I have also found OODA a useful mindset for my blogging and a way to ship posts consistently.

What is the OODA Loop?

Developed by a U.S. Airforce strategist Col. John Boyd the OODA Loop is the concept that strategic advantage goes to the party who can best navigate the decision loop through observing the situation, orienting themselves, deciding what to do next and translating that decision into action. Through transparency, autonomy and experimentation, a responsive organisation moves decisions to the edge of the organisation accelerating its OODA loop to deliver better business value.

How does OODA accelerate my blogging?

Observe: My blogging is built on a foundation of being constantly on the look out for insights. Every day as we work we are exposed to great ideas, wonderful learning and exciting conversations that challenge our thinking. The more I capture the more I learn and the more I have to share. Are you tuned to observe and capture these opportunities to share through a blog? Managing your attention to observe these moments and building a system to capture notes at the moment helps.

Orient: A blog is an expression of your cumulative knowledge and experience. Finding a way to orient a new observation against your current knowledge matters to building a consistent philosophy. You need to know how a new post fits into your blog. Once I have an insight I try to quickly connect it to other ideas on the blog and elsewhere that extend the thinking. Building this system of links helps reassure you of the value of a new post. Ultimately I would like these links to provide an ever evolving network structure to the ideas on my blog.

Decide: Struggled with a white screen? Found your 500 word post is 2000 words long? These are challenges of deciding what you are writing about. Decide to share one small simple idea. Keep it simple. Stop when it is done. If the idea gets complicated break it into a series. If you have oriented well then the decision on the role and scope of a post is a little easier.

Act: Write. Just start. The best way to solve a problem in a post is to write. You can always throw out and start again later. Only by writing and posting do you generate the interactions that create new insights. Embrace permanently beta. Ship the post and let others help you learn more. This focus on action in blogging is the power of working out loud.

Accelerating the OODA cycle on your blog reduces the risk of a writer’s block or a monster post that can be finished. Work out loud one idea at a time and invite others to share and accelerate your learning.

International Working Out Loud week is from 17-24 November 2014. For more on #wolweek check out wolweek.com. International Working Out Loud week is a great time to put OODA into action in your working out loud.


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