I particularly enjoyed his direct analysis of a practical decision-making loop.


In the late 1950s, John Boyd had a standing bet with any pilot who arrived at the Air Force Fighter Weapons School outside Las Vegas: meet Boyd, a school instructor, in the air at 30,000 feet, get on Boyd’s “six,” and in forty seconds or less, Boyd would turn the tables on you. For a cocky fighter pilot, the challenge was irresistible. Many tried, but Boyd never lost the bet.

The repeatability of the whole exercise surprised nobody more than Boyd himself. Why did he always win? Was it just natural ability or was it a skill that could be taught to others? He spent the remainder of his life answering those questions and in the process, he created an analytic framework for thinking about the nature of adversarial conflict and answered the question, “What is agility?

These days, agility is all the rage in business discussions, particularly…

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