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Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business Paperback – June 24, 2004
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About the Author
Chet Richards was a close associate of the late US Air Force Colonel John Boyd beginning in the mid-1970s. He has consulted with a number of aerospace and professional services companies and has lectured at the Air War College and the Army's Command and General Staff College. He is the author of A Swift, Elusive Sword and other works on applications of Boyd's strategy. Chet holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Mississippi and maintains a business and communications strategy practice with Tarkenton & Addams, Inc., a public relations firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
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As a fighter pilot, he knew he would only be as good as his last sortie as - if he was not careful, prepared and very, very good at his craft - it may be his last sortie. He became fascinated with the study of military history and strategy, and in learning the tendencies of his opponents through their training, and ultimately, in learning how to use their training and mindset against them to defeat them.
This book examines Boyd's writings, lessons, and thoughts, and how to use them and apply them to winning on the battlefield of competitive markets and against competitive companies. If you agree that strategy matters (and particularly if you don't), you'll want to read this book
With clear language Richards presents the fundamentals of Colonel John Boyd's revolutionary thinking on decision cycles - which thinking became the genesis for modern manuever warfare. Dr. Richards' real contribution lies in his knack for taking what some might consider arcane military theories and laying them on top of current business models and making the case - successfully in my view - for their incorporation as the new "best practices in business.
The book is a delightful read which re-informs military types regarding the enduring value of "Boydian Thinking" - it will also stretch the minds of our keenest business leaders. Should be in any thinker and doer's personal library.
Major, USMC (Ret.)
In 2003 at Whiting Field NAS in Florida I took my first Familiarization "FAM" flights in the T-34c Turbo-mentor. I was a young Air Force liuetentant - being trained by the Navy. During these FAM flights I was terrible, as was every other student in my class. No control. Airspeed and altitutde fluctuating like crazy. I remember thinking on climbout one flight "Have I made a mistake going in to Pilot Training? Can I do this?"
After a few flights I, like every other student, went into the simulators. They put me under a hood and an old dog pilot spoke into my headset for hours whispering the "scan pattern."
"Andy, keep it going, keep that scanpattern up: attitude, airspeed, attitude, altitude, attitude, VSI, turn needle, ball, torque. Attitude, airspeed, attitude..."
After these sims I took to the skys again for a few more fam flights. What a difference! With an OODA loop cranking I was able to handle basic flight controls, look outside, and most importantly - listen to my instructors.
Later in training I remember a moment where I was sitting on the onramp waiting for takeoff, and while my instructor was talking to me about climbout and I was checking my flap position, my eyes flashed to the windsoc outside. I did not bid this. It just happened. My OODA loop broke through it's own sound barrier: I was strating the next loop while still going through the first.
This whole process played out again while learning how to tail-chase, dog fight, fly aerobatics, air refuel.
It also played out when I left the airforce and went into manufacturing. John Boyd figured something out, and I agree with it and I saw it too... Giddy up. I love this book.
Most recent customer reviews
No amount of words in this 188 page book accurately encapsulates the concept of strategy.Read more