This Boyd Stuff Works!

Starting in around 2000, Dean Lenane, the CEO of a German-owned auto-systems supplier, CRH of North America, began applying Boyd’s concepts. The results were spectacular. As he told me once,

I asked my staff to read 4 books: Certain to Win, Boyd by Robert Coram, Maneuver Warfare Handbook by Bill Lind and Warfighting by the USMC. Although my people were sometimes puzzled by this curriculum, I was able to get most of what we were trying to get across stuffed into the assembled noggins.

Between 2000 and 2010, CRH North America went from no presence whatsoever to the largest supplier in its market sector in the NAFTA region. If anyone thinks this is easy, then I suggest they try it.

A couple of years ago, Dean began writing the story of how he did it. You can download the result, The Turnaround, from our Articles page. Last year, he put the essence of his experience in to a briefing slide show that I first saw out in San Diego in February and which he polished and gave at the 2014 Boyd and Beyond Conference back in October. With his kind permission, I’ve also uploaded the October edition to our Articles page.

18 thoughts on “This Boyd Stuff Works!

  1. So Market Pull is really about stretching and compressing, or your surfaces and gaps. You’re stretching the surfaces (structures) while compressing the gap (culture)? The culture is expanding and contracting over an area by an exponent, as the gap is compressing and decompressing in volume by the inch, which acts as a piston in a car, and ends up as a big explosion? Which is fine, we are ballooned construction, and the resilience, in that context, is in the thickness of our skin. We are Liberal when we are young and Conservative when old.
    So structure, the “thing” (in relationship to the Pyramid) taking the force, and culture, the “thing” that is causing the explosion, together are equally important.
    Would this also lead to the conclusion that the structure of the position taken should be quite flexible? And that flexibility is Democracy giving us the right to vote + our Constitution that gives us three domains to work in,i.e. Executive to command, Congress to control, and Judiciary to judge our position?
    What then? Because of the balloon construction, do you hope that less than half the outside world, those in the gap, but all of its pressure is in the flexibility of the earth and against such a thing? What happens when that flexibility is threatened? Or in other words, what about climate change? Do you push against it, by denial, or pull it to you?

      • I am creating solid models in a computer program. In my program, a surface is a structure with no thickness to speak of, but can be described in square inches. A surface in this context looks very similar to the skin on a balloon, which you can stretch.
        A gap is between two structures, and, apparently, how market-pull works is that, as it stretches the surface (a square area of the earth) it closes the gap, that the surface is attached to. Look up Thomas PM Barnett to understand what the gap,in this context, means,
        I was only trying to explain its structure. In other word, as the market goes into any new social environment it creates pressure, as the gap closes. The surface of the balloon is attached to the far side of the gap, and you are pulling the gap closed.
        So climate change is going into a pretty big market, what do you do? As climate change moves into new markets, and countries like Bangladesh and states like Florida get flooded, what’s the plan? Do you build the economy by building fences and pushing against the flow, similar to the war on drugs, or do you manage your area on earth, and let the flow into your area. I was wanting to know what your observation was.
        It’s more or less a local issue, but, then again, I am designing a house in my computer program, so, long-term, it would help me to know which way the flow is, as I could build some advantages (snowmobiles) into this project.
        I am also suggesting that by denigning climate change, you are not doing nothing, you are either building a wall or a snowmobile.
        But then again, there might be some very innovative walls, which I could also create in my program.

  2. Interesting larry, co-incidentally, the model you’re describing is familiar to most, and is
    used to illustrate the early universe, big bang, and inflationary theory.

  3. Ok, so here is my point, if, as you ask, I ever had one. As you run your finger down the surface of the wall looking for cracks to exploit, you are putting pressure on the culture inside those cracks at every position that you exploit.
    Which pressure creates change, and culture, from what I have gathered, is the most easiest thing to change in an OODA loop, because, as you show, you just change the structure. So eventually the pressure is relieved.
    But position isn’t easily changed, and that is really my point.
    So, once you exploit the crack, and destroyed the structure that made, as an example, artists and record labels rich, how do you change their position? It seems to me that artists and record labels will always want to be rich.
    At least as rich as the one or two guys who now hold all of the positions.
    I mean a lot has been written about taking the power out of the position of artists and “record labels” and putting it into the hands of people who can change things. Have you seen the movie Dr. Zhivago?
    I guess that is were COIN comes into the picture?

  4. So if I was to become a project manager, as an example, every project needs a good COIN program welded together with the main plan? You bring out the NGOs and Ink spots and create an environment that is friendly to your position?
    And the project manager accomplishes that by managing resources and time, in steps, i.e. by observing the environment, orienting the advantage the project brings to the environment in the most favorable way, weighing the decisions according to how much entropy is already in the environment and how much the project brings and creates, and then, as a project manager, get your people to act, according to best practices.
    Sounds simple enough.

  5. “Interesting larry, co-incidentally, the model you’re describing is familiar to most, and is
    used to illustrate the early universe, big bang, and inflationary theory.”
    Yes, it is quite new to me. How about market push? What is the word on that?

  6. “How about market push? What is the word on that?”
    My point being, as a project manager, would I have to take that into consideration? With market push the gap gets larger (the 99%), while the surface expands (the other 1%).
    In this scenario, because of climate change, the position the 1% holds is going away, right?
    Who, in their right minds, would expect the 1% to be able to hold this position? They killed the tsar of Russia, who they loved, right?

  7. Apple, and high demand products such as the original ipad, provide a good illustration.

    This originates with supply, demand and delivery logistics.

    Pull side of the equation comes down to consumer demand, and if you have a really HOT
    selling item, like the original ipad 1, one can easily run out of stock, and lose customers.

    Push side originates with the supplier, in this case manufacturer. Anticipating
    demand, based on market research, and testing.

    Practically every year at Christmas, we see stores run short on supply
    of the hottest toy items, including gaming hardware.

    You need flexibility and a mechanism (system) in place in order to deal with a huge
    surge, in demand, in manufacturing and distribution. That takes resources, cognitive
    awareness, planning, and flexibility.

    The danger can also be, that if your research (observation and orientation)
    is flawed, and you have a flop, you end up with overstock, and having to sell
    reduced profit, or at, or even below cost.

    You sometimes, see similar with Hollywood blockbusters, and in that case, the theaters
    have to pull a title fast, and offer another.

    Filling demand, and capitalizing on sales, It comes down to your observation, orientation, decision and action loop. Big successful companies like Apple have systems in place, to deal
    with surges in demand.

    A larger issue, is the production, and marketing of products such as cell phones and smart phones,
    to begin with.

    Develop of product, then market it, and convince everyone, everywhere, that they simply
    cannot live, without one.

    Yet homids have lived on this earth for something like close to 2 million years,

    • “Big successful companies like Apple have systems in place, to deal
      with surges in demand.”
      Yes and those systems in-place are people.
      Specifically, large mega-cities in China that deal with specific items. This is unlike anything the US has to offer.
      Any significance, as to what to pull from, in the terms of a project manager based in the US?
      In other words, the resources of a project manager in the US or China is unlimited, in the terms of area, but the manager would still have to monitor the corporate position within the gap.
      Perhaps a CEO who is COIN aware would be beneficial to the project manager?
      Yes lived without, but before that they used their minds 🙂

    • “do you believe the consumer economy is going away, and being replaced by something else?”

      Perhaps, yes, with half the worlds wealth now in the hands of 100 or so,
      “a variation of serfdom.”

      • “And here you go, raise your hand, if no matter how hard you work, and how smart,
        you’ve gotten a 20% pay raise recently;”
        Just curious. Where do you think Dudley is on the pyramid. Was his pay raise a reward by the increase in connects, or “things” at the bottom Maslow’s pyramid. He seemed very well connected, so it wouldn’t be right on the bottom.

  8. “Was his pay raise a reward by the increase in connects”
    Difficult to say, BP almost had a share holders meeting riot over executive compensation,
    after the Gulf disaster.
    It’s NOT that they are rewarded for FAILURE, they are REWARDED for COMPOUND
    serialized failure !

    • Do you think that it has anything to do with the environment where the position of the compound serialized failure happens in? In the case of Japan and Florida, it seems to me like the market is acting, as to say: if it happens inside the gap, the surface is still the high ground, and the pull is still the same? Or are we in too big of a rush to come to that conclusion?

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