Monday, April 7, 2008

40 second Boyd

Command and Control or Commander's Intent?

John Boyd, was the creator of the the concept of the OODA loop, (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). Boyd was known as 40 second Boyd because his willingness to bet 40 dollars he could outmaneuver all comers in a simulated dogfight with a F-15 fighter, in less then 40 seconds. According to Boyd's admirers, he never lost a bet.

According to Boyd, a better model then command and control is: leadership, appreciation and monitoring. Boyd believed that a top down command and control organization would have difficulty coping with a complex and changing environment. Instead, Boyd believed subordinates should have a through understanding of the commanders intent, and they should then be allowed freedom to direct their own activities within that intent. The commander must monitor the subordinate, but not without appreciation, a clear recognition of the value of the subordinate contributions. Today the military refers to this type of leadership as mission-command.

In practice, on a day to day basis, the leadership model that is most useful will vary with the circumstances and will likely be along a spectrum between pure command and control and Boyd's model of leadership. Providing crew with clear guidance and allowing them flexibility, to allow them to put their skills and experience to use, in order to achieve a safe and smooth running operation is the standard on any well run ship.

1 comment:

Eloise said...

Boyd is my hero. Do YOU follow the OODA loop so that you can be a better captain, and possibly a better person in general?