Decision making process and Mental Model

  • Observe
  • Orient
  • Decide
  • Act

Its a learning system - lets you operate in uncertainty. The idea is to get thru the process quickly and do it multiple times.

When things change around us, we don't change our beliefs - this gives us outdated maps. OODA loop is a process that will update the map(especially the Observe and Orient parts).


Have good situational awareness - be in a state of "relaxed alertness". There is no specific threat - but you are alert.

There are two problems with this phase...

  1. We generally have incomplete or imperfect information.
  2. We get too much information that its difficult to separate the signal from the noise.


This is where we update our Maps. Update our Mental Models based on the observation stage. You need to have a Scout Mindset to do this. Few ways to achieve this mindset...

  1. Have a collection of mental models. Add to this collection contiguously - from multiple different fields.
  2. Destroy old and create new mental models. Constantly challenge your beliefs - even when you think you have figured it out.
  3. Always be doing this process.
  4. Figure out testing mechanism for your models.


Decide which model you are going to use. This will be your best hypothesis - it will never be perfect.

Act / Test

Execute the decision. This is also a test for your mental model that is used. If it doesn't work, update and try again. This is a learning system because of this feature.

Tempo / Looping Speed

The idea is to get thru successful, consecutive Loops faster than your competition. This will ensure victory.

This rapid looping on your part will force your competitor to "reset" their loop(your action has changed the system - now they have to observe and orient again). This causes confusion on their side - giving you more advantage.