Weekend innovation tip: Outthink opponents like Peyton Manning

Ah yes, the Super Bowl is here and we have one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game playing in it: Peyton Manning.

He operates a no huddle offense that relies on reading the defense and making adjustments before the snap. This helps create confusion for the defense, so they don’t really know what’s coming at them. What makes all this possible is his great use of the , which stands for observe, orient, decide, and act.

This happens so fast, that opposing defenses have a hard time making a play on him. Because the ball leaves his hands so fast, that they’re left guessing where he might throw the ball. This enabled him to be sacked only 10 times this season!

What this means, is that he had more opportunities to throw the ball to his receivers for plays.

OODA loop

What sets him apart from other quarterbacks, is essentially his decision cycle (how he goes through the OODA loop) for reading opposing defenses is extremely fast. And, this is what enables him to make quick on the fly adjustments to the defensive sets opposing teams throw at him. What looks to us as him being a great quarterback, is really him just out-thinking defenses and picking them apart!

manning speed reading

The result to using the OODA loop as a strategy, is it opens up a lot of options for you because it makes you think in the moment and then make adjustments on the fly. This enables you to break your opponents own decision cycle by thinking a step ahead of them, and forcing them to guess.

So, how do you start using the OODA loop to craft strategy?

First you need to understand that the traditional way of crafting strategy is based on a static inflexible plan with the goal of executing a step by step action plan. In essence, something predictable. Well, with ‘change being constant’, you need to shift your thinking towards , day by day as  you learn from your customers and your competitive environment. The goal, is to out-think and stay a step ahead of competitors. And the key to achieving this, is speed. As in the faster you go through your strategic learning cycle, the more readily you’ll outpace your competitors.

P.S. I’m a Colts fan and Peyton Manning is my favorite quarterback. Go Colts!

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