Wednesday, 21 November 2007

More about 'being inside'

ReportonBusiness.com has nice article titled Got a competitor on your radar? where Senior partner from Boston Consulting Group of Canada describes how Canadian manufacturer of men's suits, Peerless, uses faster OODA loops as competitive advantage.

It would be interesting to hear comments from company representatives because in my opinion this article pretty much describes lean company, but company website doesn't mention neither, lean or OODA. What the company itself calls what it is doing? Is lean driving force behind their ability to cycle OODA loops faster?

Real advantage requires something uniquely active and not easily achieved. The speed of the OODA loop is rooted in systems thinking. Typically, less than 10 per cent of the total time devoted to any work in an organization is truly value-added. The rest is wasted.

This is measure that is often mentioned in lean articles as well, it is said that typical company has about 3-5% of value added work compared to Toyota who have around 14% of value added work.

This paragraph is sums 'being inside' to extent:
In business today, the difference in OODA loops among competitors is separating winners from losers. Organizations that consistently operate within the OODA loop of their competitors win. These organizations are faster than their competitors in developing and introducing new products or services, delivering their products and services, and resolving customer dissatisfactions. Organizations that pre-empt the moves of adversaries throw the loser into confusion and into a reactive cycle.

But still, I have yet to come clear definition of what being inside opponents OODA loop in business means and how one can spot it. Is being fast enough? I don't think so.

Did some searching at BCG website and found previous article, published in 1987 in New York Times, in which this one is based at. Almost word to word.

1 comment:

Bushman said...

Here's how I have understood this:

I think "being inside" is a bit confusing term and not perhaps very descriptive except for fighter pilots. I have had moments in competitive exercises which have matched descriptions of being inside.

The characteristic feature is firstly being ahead of opponent and secondly being able to see from opponents perspective. This has enabled me to foresee what he is going to do and use that knowledge to shape his picture to my own benefit and channel his maneuver where I want him to go. That alone might lead him to trip and fall and if not it will lead him to a position where I can finish him.

So the difference beetween being ahead and being inside is having extra time to think the game also from opponents point of view and manipulating his perceptions and actions.