Farm Goal for 2015: Be Agile

February 5, 2015 12:00 PM

Most people have a bad relationship with chaos, argues Mike Richardson, an international business coach, author and peer group facilitator with Vistage International.

Power Hour Noon Logo“When the context keeps shifting on us, it is hard to understand what will come next,” explained Richardson, a Vistage International chair, during the 2015 Top Producer Seminar in Chicago. “As life gets more chaotic, then the secret is to be agile.” 

To do so, Richardson suggests using the observe, orient, decide and act (OODA) loop. It is a decision-making cycle developed by a military strategist:

• Observe: Observe what is going on around you, using all senses, to sustain situational awareness.

• Orient: Interpret what you are observing—what just happened, what’s happening now and what’s likely to happen next.

• Decide: In that context, decide on available options and determine what you will do.

• Act: Act on those decisions.



Richardson’s advice is to shrink your loop by practicing this decision-making process to the point where it becomes second nature. The process also will help you take advantage of new opportunities. “I never want you to learn anything from hindsight that you could learn from foresight,” he says. “Hindsight is really expensive.”

To read more news and find additional information on the Top Producer Seminar or Tomorrow’s Top Producer events, visit


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