Arrangements for Dr. Richards’ seminars and for his presentation of John Boyd’s A Discourse on Winning and Losing (including Patterns of Conflict) are managed by J. Addams & Partners, Inc. For information and availability, please contact Jeannine Addams, (404) 231-1132, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is that they directly challenge old and established ways of thinking, the embedded value structure and incentives, the overall culture festering in the Pentagon petri dish since 1947.
-VADM Art Cebrowski, USN, Ret.
Director, Office of Force Transformation
We receive many requests for further information on time-based competition, OODA loops, implementing Boyd’s “EBFAS” climate, and shaping the competitive landscape. As you have seen from the material on our site, companies that employ these strategies drive their competitors from the marketplace, practically without exception.
First, though, a word of caution. Time-based techniques such as lean production are not technically difficult, but creating a company environment, climate, or culture that will actually use them presents a challenge. The late Taiichi Ohno–the Toyota executive who deserves the lion’s share of credit for creating lean production–once lamented that most companies will go out of business before they adopt his system. What generally happens is that people in these companies find it impossible to abandon the practices that served them well as they worked their way up the corporate ladder. The same is true of military forces, which will stick with the tried-and-true until a determined and imaginative opponent inflicts a catastrophic defeat.
Although change is certainly possible, it requires a steel hard commitment. Before you even consider implementing maneuver-based strategies, ask yourself: Would we be able to eliminate 40% of our management positions–those that are now occupied by our most promising young managers? Could we promote people based primarily on their demonstrated character and leadership, rather than on their latest numbers? Are we prepared to spend more time discussing how to pump up initiative and mutual trust than on assigning tasks and critiquing budgets? If your answers to any of these is an honest “No,” you are unlikely to find success with maneuver-based strategies.
Let’s be realistic. You cannot make the commitment to implement lean production or any other form of maneuver conflict without study and deliberation. To help you make an informed decision, we offer a series of introductory seminars that cover the basics of the theory and the measures required to employ it. These are tailored to meet the needs of the sponsoring clients, and samples are shown in the right hand column. We also offer Col Boyd’s full Discourse on Winning and Losing, including Patterns of Conflict. As far as we know, Dr. Richards is the only one of Boyd’s associates who is currently presenting these briefings.
In the meantime, you can download all of Boyd’s briefings, plus several papers and presentations on these themes, from our Articles page.
Now available for all popular eReaders: Certain to Win – The Strategy of John Boyd Applied to Business.
1. Introduction to Boyd’s Theory of Conflict
Boyd and Sun Tzu: Origins of “maneuver conflict.” Main themes of the “Discourse on Winning and Losing.” The OODA loop and how it shapes the terms of the conflict. Examples from business and war. Why companies that employ maneuver-based strategies drive their competition out of business. Grand strategy and its special importance for business.
2. Maneuver Conflict and Business
Primary goals of the OODA loop strategy in business. Employing the elements of variety, rapidity, harmony, and initiative as components of a “Theme for Vitality and Growth.” Ways to accelerate OODA loops in the commercial environment, and things that don’t work. Introduction to Boyd’s Organizational Climate for Operational Success (also known by its catchy German acronym “EBFAS”) and examples from successful companies.
3. “Command and Control” for Business
More EBFAS: Getting people to work together energetically to accomplish uncommon goals. The concepts of “command” and “control” in maneuver conflict and in agile organizations. How do these concepts compare to the “complex adaptive systems” approach? What are “moral forces,” and do they have any place in modern business?
4. Implementing the Strategy
Creating organizations that can shape the marketplace. Installing the EBFAS climate, and why so many companies find it impossibly difficult. Examples from other companies, including a look at “lean production” from the perspective of maneuver conflict. Optional: Discussion on specifics of the sponsoring organization.