As we learned in The OODA Loop Part 1, the first step in the process we enact every waking moment of our lives is to Observe.
The second step in the OODA process is the most important. How we orient ourselves to the observations we make can determine the course of our lives down to each individual interaction with the unknown. As John Boyd indicated as quoted in Science, Strategy and War, “Uncertainty is a fundamental and irresolvable characteristic of our lives, no matter how good our observations and theories for explanation are.” Within our orientation we must account for uncertainty. Relative to our business we must also orient our observations to our intent, resources, and continuous improvement. We associate value to the things we observe. We do this through our questions. Does this observation meet my intent now or in the future? Does this observation tax or support my resources? Does this observation help me to be the best I can be? We can also orient ourselves with a focus on situational awareness by looking at our history, purpose, abilities and intention. Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you going? What are you doing now? What are your present capabilities? What are the needs in the present? What are the needs in the immediate future? By asking ourselves questions, we orient ourselves within the constraints and freedoms of the present and future. Out of this ruthless pragmatism called orientation, the understanding of the parts, and interrelations with the whole system, a number of paths forward will appear.