An addendum to Dean’s piece

Dean has told me that his line,

Everyone expected a close match. During the first game Fischer blundered and lost. Fischer then went on to “take measures which allowed him to keep his own orientation intact, while taking active measures to destroy that of the opponent”.

contains an exact quote from Certain to Win, page 30.  I am most flattered.

However, he did mention that his middle initial is usually rendered as “M.” Personally, I thought “A.” flowed better.

Incidentally, if you haven’t downloaded The Turnaround from the Articles page, give yourself a middle-of-the-week present and do it now.

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5 thoughts on “An addendum to Dean’s piece

  1. If doing the same thing and expecting the same results is the definition of insanity, and thinking about what you are doing (after all the decisions have been made) as a way of not doing something insane, then I have a question about “The Turnaround” from the Articles page.
    Dean’s story gives me the impression that he and Harry had been through this all before (creating a successful business) .
    So how much of Boyd did they use the first time around? And if the owner knew what the final outcome would be, why would he not sell it?
    It seems to me that without thinking, they turned the owner’s selling of the business into a Black Swan. So I would be interested in learning about the decision process leading up to Dean’s leaving and starting-over somewhere else, because it appears to me that the owner wasn’t insane, and knew, better than anyone, the right time to sell.
    Or, I think we had this discussion before, can it be said that betrayal is one of those things that brings clarity to a situation for us? It sounds to me like Dean felt a little betrayal in the process.

    • Or maybe you don’t believe there was any betrayal.
      With the edges you and your team created (distance between nodes) you built quite a structure. A structure that could be called a complex and similar to the Military Industrial Complex. A complex where management has almost total command, but control is mostly in the form of self-control, through the teams you enabled through your commands.
      But then, I am wondering, is this where you left them the first time around, and, at that time, someone made the mistake of hiring a CEO who thought he had control of the operations?
      Which if you left a completely different structure last time, maybe it wasn’t betrayal this time, but adaptation.
      The owner didn’t like the structure he saw, at least this time around, and adapted his lifestyle towards another environment. In a kind of: “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”, strategic sort of way (Cheap Trick,

  2. Regarding OODA loop tempo as opposed to absolute speed over the loop. I’ve always thought tempo over the loop is the focus as opposed to speed and that tempo is relative to the environment and your opponent. Arguably to be successful, you simply need to be out ahead of your opponent by a little bit so you gain and maintain the initiative. This concept became very apparent in counter-insurgency operations. If, for example, you assume a defensive force protection posture and allow your self to get caught in the paradigm of reacting to attacks, you are not executing at a faster tempo than the enemy and the enemy has the initiative. You have to figure out how to disrupt what is typically a very deliberate and slow insurgent or terrorist planning and execution cycle and get them to react to your actions. In terms of absolute speed or absolute tempo however, this might be very slow when compared to other military operations.

    • @alexvohr
      “tempo over the loop is the focus ” That really clicks for me. To paraphrase, you get your enemy’s attention and make an event somewhere in the loop. But I think there is another component of tempo.
      The structure that is enabling your enemy to function in the environment observed can be defined by the number of events they are able to muster divided by the magnitude of event in the moment of focus. Because there is both events and magnitude, it might be possible that you also need to focus on understanding what kind of magnitude do you want to show the enemy, what they believe you are capable of, and what you believe they are capable of.
      Of course, limiting the magnitude of the event in your focus has some serious side effects, as McCHrystal’s Afghanistan showed. As does using an unlimited magnitude in the 14th century Mongol focus on Russia showed.
      In the first instant there is the chance of some of that “magnitude” showing up on your side, in the second, there is the chance of a complete collapse of structure.
      So, depending on the focus you bring to the environment, by way of the tempo you are able to function at, more deaths on your side or you end up with nothing.
      At least in the context of the second case, the Mongols ended up with nothing that resembled the advantages Russia’s structure, culture, and position represented in the environment at the start of the Mongol invasion, i.e. the Mongols won, but ultimately couldn’t hold the position outside of the gene pool.

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