Trusting Your Gut Feeling To Take Action - Reading Time: 4 Mins

Introduction

I think in times like this, we should really trust our own gut on what we should do. Which result in us to not make a decision and not chuck it aside. For another day to think about it till it is too late to take action and we get the consequences of inaction.

Part of it has been me growing up to be resourceful find a path. Even the path, I was embarking might have been unproven with little to no references to draw from.

Like making a decision from the age of 11 to progress to get a technical diploma from local polytechnic. Despite I'm not academically inclined and beyond my wildest dream of graduating with a degree.

Wanting to be part of the startup ecosystem in Singapore as a developer. Taking the leap of faith, to start a technical blog despite knowing I'm bad at writing. I came from a family that speaks Chinese and uses Chinese dialects to communicate with each other since I was born.

Avoiding Analysis Paralysis

I believe in the need to gather & analysis information to make a decision. Besides tapping on the shoulder of giants in mental models from a diverse pool of people. To reflect and make a decision to plan and take action.

The last thing that you really want is to be perpetually gathering information and being fearful of making decisions. Due to your need to get 100% information to make a decision and deciding on a course of action.

Which is why agile practices like Scrum and the common startup mantra is "moving fast & break things". So that we gather rapid feedback and challenge our assumptions while we are learning by doing and not make costly and irreversible mistakes.

What is The OODA Loop?

The OODA loop is really a deep topic in the level of strategy, decision making, organisation adaptability and learning. This is created by an ex-fighter pilot, military theorist called John Byod. Who was involved in the creation of the iconic F15 and F16 fighter jet that tests conventional wisdom in his time. Namely the debate between single-engine vs multi-engine fighter jets in fuel consumption and distance covered for the fighter jet.

If John Boyd was still alive, he would be giving this lecture that will take you about 7 hours to understand the whole concept of OODA. Which he gave it tirelessly to every officer he could get his hands in the US military. To incorporate his methodology in the decision-making process and organisation adaptive learning.

The OODA Loop Breakdown:

  • Observe - To observe the current environment, competitors, other industries and continuously gather information with case studies to help in the later stage of the loop.
  • Orient - A self-reflection process to make sense of the information from the observe stage. In a quest to search for mismatches in the current environment to allow you to act upon it. Aka finding the third door or the weakness in the armour to run with it.
  • Decide - To make a decision and create a course of action to take advantage of the mismatch in the environment.
  • Action - To execute and on the decision and loop through the OODA again to get ready for the next course of action to take advantage of the mismatch

The key about the OODA loop you have to make this loop go faster. As either as an individual or organisation level which the gap between you and present or future competitors becomes wider. As you take advantage of the mismatch in the present environment in chaotic times.

Conclusion

I hope I had provided you with a good reason to go with your gut to make decisions not out of fear. But with sufficient (Around 80%) information that you could capitalise upon especially in times like this.

Instead, we should seek to take calculated risk to be outside of our comfort zone. I know that the present situation might be gloom and doom for many. It is easy to give up and double down to be on survival mode to ride it out of the storm.

We can take advantage of the mismatch in the present. To thrive in this crisis instead of surviving that we are undergoing now.

Reference