Frameworks and why are there so many?

credit: pixabay

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
– André Gide

I was reading my friend Andrew Whitehouse’s blog this morning and came across a post he wrote regarding originalism in thought and work. In addition to the quote above, he said (wrote?) something that jumped out at me, articulating the why of what I do here. That is:

That’s what I’m aiming for here. (The “what is it for?” for this blog.): Looking for patterns in the work others have done, applying my own perspective, writing about it, noticing what’s there, and then iterating.
– Andrew Whitehouse

This all circles back to something I’ve asked myself quite a bit, “Why are there so many different frameworks that say much the same thing when you boil them down to basics?”

I think the answer is that:

1) people weren’t necessarily listening at that moment (that framework X was developed)

or (as if not more likely)

2) it wasn’t said in a way that resonated

To the latter point, Seth Godin’s Linchpin hit me like a hammer. It articulated the principles I’ve tried to live by in such a way that it resonated with me. Further, it allowed me to articulate them in turn to people around me. Colonel John Boyd’s OODA loop also resonates with me. However, it doesn’t resonate with everyone. A particular piece of feedback I’ve received about the OODA loop is, ‘It’s too military a mindset for me with it’s talk of opponents and breaking other loops.’ To this I said to the person, “That’s totally ok. There are a number of other frameworks that may resonate with you!”

What’s the bottom line here?

Don’t give up. Your voice may be – will be – the one that resonates with someone. 

The future of content marketing…

credit: pixabay
credit: pixabay


That is the number of decisions the average consumer is faced with every day (reference The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload).

I’ve blogged about permission marketing and the power of authenticity but I wanted to talk today specifically about what the future of content marketing looks like.

Rachel Strella has a great post up here that talks about three major takeaways. It’s worth the read, for sure.

There’s something I’d highlight today that I think a lot about: quality, authoritative content.

With the massive amount of posts, tweets, blogs, snapchats, instagrams, etc., out there, if you are producing surface level content you are shouting into the void.

I think to make a difference, to be heard, you have to establish yourself as a passionate advocate and student of your niche. Some would say be the ‘expert’, but there’s a finality to that word that I don’t subscribe to personally.

Every day, study your art.

Every day, practice your art.

Every day, share your art.

Become the voice of your art with quality, authoritative content.

10thHuman: Why businesses need to constantly evaluate their strategies

image from pixabay
image from pixabay

Today, I want to talk about the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

This law states:

…the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process. The increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, and the asymmetry between future and past.

Why does an organization need to be familiar with this concept?

The short answer is that a business that does not engage in the continual evaluation of their operations becomes isolated from their competition. Their entropy increases.

This requires continual energy input, to mantain that constant level of entropy. You have to do the work, the planning, the execution.

Then, do it again.

Then, do it again.

The strategy that got you to the top will not work to keep you there. 

You will be disrupted, unless you are disruptive.

How do you achieve this state, this disruptive nature, this continual evaluation? Through the use of a consistently applied framework.

The only sustainable competitive advantage…

20160731 OODA“The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition.”
– Peter Senge, Society for Organizational Learning

I read this quote earlier today in Disrupt You! by Jay Samit and it’s a nugget of pure wisdom.

In our ever changing world, what really is a 21st century businesses’ greatest asset? I would submit for your consideration that it is as quoted above, the ability to learn and adapt and implement faster than the competition.

If this sounds familiar, it’s tied into the overarching goal of the OODA loop, too.

Of frameworks and OODA loops

For some time, I’ve been thinking about the concept of a framework.

What do I mean by that?

We all view the world through different lenses; how we process what we see is the result of the framework that is the sum of our parts.

One part of my internal framework is the OODA loop. I’ve been studying this concept for some time and am working on incorporating it into my analysis of businesses. Here’s a sneak peek of sorts (what follows is a draft in continual update/edit mode):

The OODA Loop
First things first, what is OODA? It stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It is a conceptual action loop develop by Col. John Boyd, orginally applied to military fighter pilot tactics. The short of it is that Col Boyd believed that whomever could apply the OODA loop fastest won the fight. His ideas revolutionized fighter pilot tactics.

How does this apply to us here, in a business environment? To answer that, let’s talk about complexity economics theory.

This theory states that the business enviroment is an incredibly complex, continually evolving system, itself filled with incredibly complex and continually adapting organizations. As the economic landscape changes, so, too, do the organizations within. This precipitates changes within the system, which triggers adaptive change by the same organizations. This loop is now our operating environment.

How can a business thrive – much less survive – in this environment? By having a framework to view and act through.

Ok, why do we need a framework? The decision making part of our brain does not prioritize (Organized Mind). Rather, when we are faced with information and have to make one of the approximately 5,000 decisions we are presented with daily, we struggle to sort them.

To really operate, to operate effectively, we need a framework, a medium through which to prioritize our decision making. The OODA loop is such a framework.

The OODA Loop as generally conceived

Most view Col Boyd’s OODA loop as a series of concentric circles through which one steps in sequence.

20160731 OODA

That is, someone employing the loop would first Observe, then Orient, then Decide, then Act. While this works as a tactic, I believe it is not a comprehensive strategy.

The OODA Loop expanded into strategy 

Drawing ability aside, this represents my view of Col Boyd’s OODA loop. I think it is meant to be a series of concentric, interlocking loops, in which the same person employing the concept does so in a 360 degree environment, constantly observing, orienting, deciding and acting. These also need not be sequential. It may be that new data is observed during the decision phase which requires additional observation or orientation.

20160731 OODA 2
That’s a great graphic, Rob, but what does this mean to my business?

Good question! Here’s a real word example. I am also a licensed Realtor® who spends a lot of time producing educational content, via my blogs at thehousingnetwork and robthompsonrealtor. As I generate content, I came to realize I was talking about inspection objections and resolutions, a phase a couple of weeks into a transaction, but I wasn’t discussing earnest money on a regular basis.

You could say as it applied to a communications strategy, my OODA loop looked like this:

20160803 OODA 3

That is, I was stepping through a series of conversations about these topics.

What was I missing here? 

On any given day, I was communicating with only one set of potential clients.

What should I have been doing? 

As a communications strategy, my OODA loop should have looked more like this:

20160803 OODA 4

Under this model, instead of a series of communications, the intent is to have related, parallel content/conversations, wherein we are addressing the needs and concerns of both novice and experienced clients.

Interested? Please let me know and stay tuned as I develop this article and concept further.

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