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Boyd and Beyond Local DC Event

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

[by J. Scott Shipman]

Jim Hasik’s White Board Outline

 

At the suggestion of Adam Elkus, we were privileged to host our first “local” Boyd and Beyond event on 15 December. We had 14 attend, and five speakers. Logistically, we turned our family room in to a fairly comfortable briefing area, using a wall with Smart Sheets as a temporary white board. In keeping with our October events, we took up a collection and had pizza delivered for lunch. Coffee, soft drinks light snacks were provided. Each speaker was allotted 50 minutes, but given the participation of the audience, most talks lasted about 90 minutes. I should emphasize to those planning one of these events, to keep a lean speaker’s list, as the Q&A and discussion can easily double the time of a presentation—-and I believe all who attended would agree the comments/discussion made already great presentations even better.

My sincere thanks go out to my wife and partner, Kristen, for making this event look easy! She was the one who made sure everything was moving along and that folks felt at home. I would encourage others around the country to schedule and hold events through the year. We’re looking to do another in March 2013.

Our speakers were:

Jim Hasik, Beyond Hagiography: Problems of Logic and Evidence in the Strategic Theories of John Boyd

Francis Park, The Path to Maneuver Warfare in the U.S. Marine Corps

Robert Cantrell,  Which Card Will You Play?

Terry Barnhart, Designing and Implementing Maneuver Strategy in Transforming Major Organizations

Marshall Wallace, Theories of Change and Models of Prediction

I led off with a few comments on the military professional and intellectual rigor. I recommended the best book I’ve read this year: Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command, by Jon Tetsuro Sumida, and the challenges he suggests in the realm of intellectual rigor. He writes:

“It remains to be seen whether readers exist with the mind and will to accept his guidance on what necessarily is an arduous intellectual and moral voyage into the realm of war and politics.” (emphasis added)

I followed with the example from An Unknown Future and a Doubtful Present: Writing the Victory Plan of 1941, by Charles E. Kirkpatrick. Mr. Kirkpatrick’s little book provides an excellent primer to the formulation of the United States’ WWII strategy and a refreshing insight into the education of an master strategist, then Major Albert C. Wedemeyer, attached to the War Plans Division, the Army chief of staff’s strategic planners, who wrote the Army strategy for WWII in 90 days. (read the review here) I suggested that military professionals should start something akin to a book club, where they can discuss and debate strategic issues and concept.

Following my comments, Jim Hasik offered his critique of John Boyd’s work. Adam tweeted that we were a “tough crowd,” but Jim was able to discuss his misgivings with respect to Boyd’s work and a lively discussion got us started. For those unfamiliar, Jim is the author of a paper called, Beyond Hagiography, which generated controversy in the Boydian community following this year’s October event at Quantico. (reviewed here and at zenpundit.comHere is a link to the paper. (see Hasik’s white board outline above).

According to Hasik, Boyd erred when extrapolating from physical processes/science to social processes. He reviewed Boyd’s use of science in his essay, Destruction and Creation, and suggested no literal correlation between Clausius’ Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy), Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and human behavior (on this I concur with Hasik, as analogy or metaphor these scientific principles enlighten).  Hasik asked if OODA scales from air-to-air combat to large scale events, and whether OODA was original (compared to PDCA, for example). One point that generated quite a bit of discussion was whether one could “like” Clausewitz or Sun Tzu and Boyd. Hasik questioned whether Boyd’s work should be judged as social science, history, or war studies, and suggested that further work was needed to fill in the gaps in his work. In October, someone suggested Boyd needed a “Plato,” someone to address Boyd’s work with less emphasis on science (as in Osinga’s book), thereby making Boyd’s work more accessible. The Strassler model was suggested; Strassler is an “unaffiliated scholar” who has written exhaustively referenced versions of ThucydidesHerodotus, and Arrian. [personal note: I believe a Strassler-like book on Boyd's ideas would be a great resource] A great thought-provoking conversation.

Francis Park’s White Board

 

Francis Park’s talk on on maneuver warfare, the evidence of history began with “I’m a historian and I have a problem.” The irony wasn’t lost on the audience, as Francis is an active duty Army officer, speaking on the history of the USMC’s adoption of maneuver warfare (MW). Park called the Marine Corps “the most Darwinian of the services.” The venue for for the Corps discussion between MW advocates, and the “attritionists” was the Marine Corps Gazette. This venue was “unofficial,” otherwise the debate may have never happened. The Gazette’s forward-thinking editor made space and encouraged the debate, which was a “long, bitter, and complex fight.”

Park listed and discussed the champions of MW Michael D. Wyly, G.I. Wilson, William Woods, William Lind, and Alfred M. Gray. Park recommended Fideleon Damian’s master’s thesis, THE ROAD TO FMFM 1: THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AND MANEUVER WARFARE DOCTRINE, 1979-1989. (Adam Elkus recommended Eric Walters essay in the Small Wars Journal, titled Fraud or Fuzziness? Dissecting William Owen’s Critique of Maneuver Warfare.)

Park called the USMC adoption of MW a “confluence of fortune” that may have never happened without the vigorous efforts of proponents.

Robert Cantrell’s Which Card Will You Play? was an instructive and interactive example of Robert’s strategy cards. Cantrell has two decks of strategy playing cards, one devoted to strategy, the other to sales strategy. The user’s guide is at www.artofwarcards.com.

Robert provided examples of how the cards are used to spark strategic thought and ideas. Volunteers pulled first one, then two cards from the decks, and read aloud and commented on how the statement(s) on the cards could be used in practice. For example, “Muddy The Water To Hide the Nets” was drawn (the 8 of clubs, a bit more on card suits from Robert below). The “strategy” is to “confuse your adversary so he cannot perceive your intentions. The “Basis” is “Confused adversaries make mistakes they would not make if they grasped your intentions.”

Longtime friend of this blog, Fred Leland at Law Enforcement Security Consulting is using the cards with success. Fred’s goal is “to get cops thinking more strategically and tactically in their work. I have been pulling a card from the deck and writing my thoughts and sharing them with cops who have been passing them along to their officers.” He is using Robert’s cards for “in-service” training, and providing a low cost entry into strategic thinking.

I followed up with Robert and asked for an explanation of the card suits. Here is his response:

Hi Scott – although they are gray delineations, the Hearts are oriented on the shaping self, the Clubs on shaping the field of contest…the diamonds are isolation strategies, and the spades are elimination strategies. This is the wolf pattern on the hunt: wolf becomes all the wolf it can be, shapes the hunt, isolates a member from the heard, brings that member down. With aces high – and again also gray – the higher cards tend to be strategies used from a greater abundance of strength and the lower numbers from comparative weakness in strength. Of course from here we can talk about gaining relative advantage if we cannot have absolute advantage to gain strength for a critical moment…and so on

Terry Barnhart spoke on Boydian organizational applications in a talk called Designing and Implementing Maneuver Strategy in Transforming Major Organizations. Terry said any organizational change had to be accomplished on the realms of the moral, mental, and the physical. With that in mind, he advised mapping the social networks of the organization and speaking in “the language of the culture” and “asking for what you need” when attempting to transformation. The end goal is “aligned autonomy,” and Terry’s recommended method of choice is taken from Boyd’s Patterns of Conflict,Slide 80:

Patterns of Conflict, Slide 80

 

Search out the “surfaces and gaps”, as reference from Slide 86, POC. In Boyd’s language:

•Present many (fast breaking) simultaneous and sequential happenings to generate confusion and disorder—thereby stretch-out time for adversary to respond in a directed fashion.

•Multiply opportunities, to uncover, create, and penetrate gaps, exposed flanks, and vulnerable rears. [emphasis added]

Create and multiply opportunities to splinter organism and envelop disconnected remnants thereby dismember adversary thru the tactical, grand tactical, and strategic levels. [emphasis added]

In Terry’s words, “be everywhere at once” and establish relationships that result in buy-in, avoiding “no,” as Terry advised it can take a couple of years to overcome an objection. As aligned autonomy is reached, word will get around about the successes, and all of sudden what was a single agent of change becomes a movement. So Terry is recommending methods in maneuver warfare as a method in transforming organization culture.

During Terry’s talk, Dave recommended Orbiting the Giant Hairball, by Gordon MacKenzie as a guide in navigating the bureaucracy and obstacles often found in large organizations.

Marshall Wallace’s White Board

 

Marshall Wallace’s Theories of Change and Models of Prediction was our final presentation. Marshall has emerged as one of the leading thinkers among Boydeans. Wallace said, “people are lazy” as he led off his discussion of change models. [personal note: I've come to refer to this laziness as "neurological economy"] His thinking was influence by Daniel Kaneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and the Heath brother’s Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard. When change is desired, clarity is an absolute must have. Wallace offered the four models above as example of change. He said we must ask: “What is the change we want to see?” and ” What are the pre-conditions?”—instead of this model, most people begin with the idea, which more often than not, fails.

Wallace walked our group through the models and emphasized the importance of tempo and used his wife’s efforts to establish dog parks in their city. Everything in government has a process, and Wallace said in this case “going slower than the politicians” paid off. Also, for programs of change, it is best if there is 100% transparency of goals. Both Marshall and Terry recommended a book called The Progress Principle, by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. The most powerful model for me was the one in the lower right corner—particular the use of “more people” and “key” people in any effort to affect change.

Post meeting, Wallace posted the following to our Facebook group wall, that rounds out and expands his thinking:

I was on the plane back to Boston yesterday morning, deeply engrossed in Terry’s book [Creating a Lean R&D System] when a phrase leapt into my head: “Target the whole organism”.

As the Michaels in our lives (Moore and Polanyi) remind us, “we know more than we can say”. I feel that quite clearly and I constantly struggle with language. I am never satisfied with any presentation I give because I know that, due to failures on my part to use the perfect word at the right moment, I left some understanding on the table.

Somehow the weekend, with spectacular conversation, a good night’s sleep, the enforced idleness of air travel, and Terry’s superb book, shook something loose.

Target the whole organism.

What flashed through my mind at that moment were pieces of the talks.

Jim prompted discussion of what the next set of books about/on/adding to Boyd should look like.

Francis drew a pie wedge with “firepower” on one edge of the pie and “maneuver” on the other. He was describing two schools of thought on conflict as represented by these extremes. Everybody seemed to agree that the balance lay somewhere in the middle and was definitely related to the context.

Robert’s exercises with his strategy decks shook countless examples of strategic action and insight loose in our minds. The combination of cards, taking one from each of the competition and collaboration decks, was especially exciting.

Terry laid out his plan to blitzkrieg his company, and invited us to make it better.

I ended with a 4-cell matrix demonstrating the four basic categories under which all Theories of Change operate (more on this later). Experience has shown that most people operate out of an implicit Theory that traps them in one quadrant, whereas social change only occurs if all four quadrants are affected.

Target the whole organism.

I got home and opened up “The Strategic Game of ? and ?”. Interaction and Isolation.

Firepower and maneuver – at the same time. Competition and collaboration at the same time.

Boyd side-by-side with his sources and several commentators. CEO, discouraged middle-managers, and the line at the same time. More People and Key People at both the individual level and the structural level all at the same time.

Target the whole organism.

A force that uses maneuver to confuse and firepower to destroy will dominate. A force that can swing rapidly between extremes and also find balance is even more slippery than one that acknowledges the “necessary” balance. The two practices can be in separate parts of the battlespace (context matters), but because both are occurring, the confusion generated may well be more intense. It looks as though the force is two distinct armies and communication among the enemy may be unintelligible because the threats being faced are so different.

Bringing collaborative concepts into competitive spaces or vice versa while not abandoning the underlying logic of the space opens up more options, challenges notions, and expands horizons. Can we interact and isolate at the same time? What does that snowmobile look like?

If we want to effect social change, we need to target the whole system. We can sequence our efforts in time, though we can’t forget to move as quickly as the circumstances allow. At the same time, every effort must be connected to the whole organism.

The target is not the target. I do not aim at the eye of the fish. I don’t wan’t to hit the bullseye.

I want to pick up the whole madding crowd of intense archers, cynical kings, and wildly cheering spectators and move them.

This was the first “local” event, and based on the response, we’ll be doing these a few times a year. Many thanks to all who participated, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to  you all!

UPDATE: Dave shared these with our group. Francis said, “We live and die by bumper stickers.” Here is a good example:

 

Here is Dave’s interpretation of the Sufi elephant:

 

 

 

Cross-posted at To Be or To Do.

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Report: Boyd & Beyond 2012

Friday, October 19th, 2012

I wanted to offer my thoughts about Boyd & Beyond 2012, now that the dust has settled and the participants are recovering from two days of intense intellectual engagement by day and partying at night.

First, thanks are in order to those who made Boyd & Beyond 2012 a reality:

To the United States Marine Corps, for use of their facilities at the Command and Staff College, the Expeditionary Warfare School and the Al Gray Research Center.

To Colonel Stan Coerr, USMC - the  principal organizer of the Boyd & Beyond Conferences.  It is Colonel Coerr’s hard work during the year that makes these events possible.

To Major Marcus Mainz, USMC – whose dynamic style helped facilitate a very tight schedule of speakers and kept everyone well fed at lunch.

To J. Scott Shipman – my co-blogger, friend and the official host (with his lovely wife Kristen) of the annual Boyd & Beyond Party, where the conversation continued into the night ( they were also my most hospitable hosts as well).

To the archivists and staff of the Al Gray Research Center who made our examination of Colonel John Boyd’s private papers, briefs and personal library enjoyable and informative.

To the folks from Adaptive Leader, who provided the coffee, water and snacks, of which I had too much :)

And finally to Gahlord Dewald for creating a much  better home for the conference’s twitter archive.

Now on to the conference itself……

Everyone had their favorite presenters and the number of questions often exceeded the time available, but we could loosely group featured individuals into clusters based on their role at the conference:

THEORISTS:  Dr. Chet Richards, Dr. Venkat Rao, Dr. Terry Barnhart, Michael Moore, Matt Lungren

WARRIORS: Brigadier General Stacy Clardy, USMC, Captain Paul Tremblay, Gunnery Sergeant Nick Galvan and Damien O’Connell ( my apologies to Nick and Damien as I entered the case study after it had already begun and did not catch the intros, Nick might be a Master Gunnery Sergeant and I do not know Damien’s rank at all)

SCHOLARS:  Dr. Katya Drozdova, Adam Elkus, Mike Miller

PRACTITIONERS: Greg Wilcox, Marshall Wallace, Pete Turner, Mike Grice, Gahlord Dewald, Chris Cox, Tom Hayden, William McNulty, Jonathan Brown

MASTERS of CEREMONIES: Colonel Stan Coerr, Major Marcus Mainz, Colonel G.I. Wilson

SPECIAL GUEST: Mary Ellen Boyd, daughter of Colonel John Boyd 

Some of the highlights from my perspective:

Chet Richards was in the keynote speaker role, as befitting his status as the authorized briefer of Colonel Boyd’s work. Chet spoke for an hour on the intellectual evolution of John Boyd’s ideas, based on this paper ” John Boyd, the Conceptual Spiral and the Meaning of Life available for download at Fast Transients.  I also recommend Chet’s essay “ The Origins of John Boyd’s A Discourse on Winning and Losing”  in this slim volume and perusing the DNI archive at DNIPOGO.

I took the most notes on Chet’s lecture of any of the talks and was highly intrigued by what he termed “Boyd’s wonderful trinity”, the relationship of “Insight, Imagination and Initiative”, partly because it relates directly to a major research project I am currently undertaking at work; also, the application of Boyd’s “Theme for Vitality and Growth” being intended to scale from individuals to grand strategy and beyond (literally, the “theme” overarches grand strategy as a particularly attractive distillation of the civilizational narrative, at least as I interpret Boyd).

Dr. Venkatesh Rao, who has the excellent blog Ribbonfarm and the even better book Tempo, spoke on mental models, stating that “mental models are like addictions” and that situations or arguments that validated our mental models was akin to “an addict getting a hit”. Venkat shared lessons learned regarding common mental models, advising “training opponents using their unconscious model”; that the best strategy was not “faster [tempo] vs. getting inside [their Loop], but both” that we should get inside and then accelerate our tempo; that we should strive for “low tempo with richer moves that are natural to the system” which will beat a high tempo of artificial moves.

In both instances of Chet Richards and Venkat Rao, I felt the stringent ban on powerpoint maintained by Boyd & Beyond was something of a handicap to their excellent talks. While I fully understand and sympathize with the reluctance of military personnel who are bombarded daily with endless streams of junk powerpoint garbage to see more shape and arrow slideware at a conference, it would have been very helpful for the audience to have seen, for example, the figures from Boyd’s Conceptual Spiral that Chet was analyzing.

While I am familiar with Boyd’s briefs, 1) I don’t have them memorized and I can only imagine that  2) the first time participants would have benefited from the visual to an even greater degree.  Likewise, Venkat could have used a slide for his mental models and lessons rather than the too small whiteboard on a tripod. Some moderation and common sense in enforcing “no powerpoint” should be considered in light of the nature of the presentation (particularly since John Boyd became well known from….well….briefing….with slides!).

  

In the “Rise of the Marines” section, Brigadier General Clardy gave a forceful brief on his COIN operations in Anbar during the start of the “Anbar Awakening” that was covered by AOL Defense News:

QUANTICO, Va: Even though the administration’s strategic guidance swears off “large-scale, prolonged stability operations” while emphasizing air and naval forces, the lessons that ground troops learned in Afghanistan and Iraq will remain vitally relevant, both because we will still do stability operations in the future and because those skills apply to other kinds of conflicts as well, declared a senior advisor to the Marine Corps Commandant.

“We’re going to do more of this in the future, not necessarily less,” said Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy, the Marines’ operations director. After 10 years of war, he said, “we’ve changed what we consider to be our core competencies.” Alongside the traditional Marine skills in attack, defense, and amphibious operations, “we’ve included now, as [has] the Army, stability operations.”

“It’d be nice to be able to say we’re going to go in, do the job, and get out,” said Clardy. “In reality, it may not work out that way.”

Even when future Marines can achieve their objective quickly — for example, a “non-combatant evacuation” (NEO) to get US diplomats and tourists out of a danger zone — they will still benefit from an appreciation of foreign cultures and the ability to interact with non-US civilians, officials, and security forces. So, said Clardy, the Marine Corps must give its troops “the tools to engage with populations, even if only for a limited period of time.”

Clardy was speaking at a conference at Marine Corps University, the hub of the service’s professional military education system, centered on the teachings of the late Col. John Boyd. Boyd was an Air Force fighter pilot whose research into Korean War dogfights led him to deemphasize high technology as a decisive factor. Instead Boyd ascribed fundamental importance to the human factors of how opposing combatants struggle to out-think each other, with victory going neither to the strong nor to the swift but to the most mentally agile. A fiery and confrontational prophet little honored in his own service, “Genghis John” had a lasting influence on the Marine Corps, and lately a Boyd-like fascination with human factors is rising also in the Army.

“Without what John Boyd proposed and what the Marine Corps absorbed,” said Clardy, “I’m not convinced we would have been successful in Iraq at all.”

Clardy and other attendees at the conference argued that Boyd’s emphasis on human factors — mind over matter, people over technology, skillful maneuver over raw power — holds true not just in a “hearts and minds” counterinsurgency campaign but even in no-holds-barred combat. After all, said Clardy, for a Marine or Army squad in Afghanistan that must defend its base, patrol, and react to ambushes, “the world for you on a daily basis looks a lot like any conventional op.”…..

In response to a question from me, General Clardy stated that a polycentric, decentralized, insurgency like the one in Iraq was tactically easier but a more difficult problem on a strategic level. The general was followed by Captain Paul Tremblay whose talk ended in his riveting account of how he and Bravo Company turned a feared Taliban ambush site into a shooting gallery for the Marines by using blitzkrieg tactics, killing 41 armed Taliban, routing the insurgents and pacifying the area.

A special mention should be made of the trip to the Al Gray Research Center which houses the papers and books of Col. John Boyd. Earlier, Colonel GI Wilson, had entertained us with the backstory of how the USMC, under the aegis of Lt. General Paul Van Riper, really acquired the Boyd collection for Quantico, with the added bonus of sticking it to the US Air Force. Mary Ellen Boyd also spoke movingly of that time, when her father was dying of cancer, when the Marines arrived at her parents small condo and carefully photographed and removed years of research, notes, briefing papers and books.

The archivist discussed the transfer, organization and presentation of the collection, John Boyd’s exhaustive marginalia and notations ( Boyd’s heavily marked up copy of On War was on display, which I picked up and perused) and the contents of the briefing files and papers. We dug in to all of these. The Al Gray Center, it must be said, is much larger than the Boyd archive and is a first rate facility with a professional staff ready to assist scholars and students in their research of military history. It is a must see if you visit Quantico.

The practitioners and scholars also gave some stimulating talks:

Marshall Wallace, a Quaker humanitarian NGO activist and Director of the Do No Harm Project. While a pacifist is seemingly an odd choice at a conference devoted to a military strategist, Marshall’s themes and ideas regarding decision dynamics in conflict zones were very warmly received by the audience and recognized as being strongly congruent as he illustrated how aid and aid workers, blindly inserted, can aggravate or extend conflicts ( an idea partly explored in The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts).

Wiliam McNulty, the co-founder of Team Rubicon gave a very inspiring talk about reintegrating veterans through “first-in” humanitarian missions to remote areas of current conflict zones, getting there long before the less nimble but heavyweight NGO’s can take over.

Pete Turner, a co-author of 29 Articles with 75 months of deployment in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan, in various capacities for the DoD and USG, gave a rapid-fire talk on transition operations being a different breed of animal from COIN. stressing “cultural acuity” and aggressively building up the role of the host nation partner. “Wasta is for the host nation [official]” Turner stated ” If you can’t talk transition, you can’t do COIN”. Turner dismissed our current efforts at cultural awareness and language programs as “Disneyland training” – a point that was strongly seconded (if not more robustly) by a later speaker, former intelligence officer and CORDS program official Tom Hayden, who compared American COIN efforts in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Dr. Katya Drozdova: The former Hoover Institution Fellow gave a provocative talk about partitioning Afghanistan along ethnosectarian lines – or at least moving from a strong central government to a looser federation with autonomy for major Afghan demographic groups.

Gahlord Dewald, a social media expert and strategist, spoke on the theme of “dreadful efficiency” :

….Dreadful efficiency occurs whenever the path of energy or interest or attention is so straight and so clear that there is no room for the survival of anything else. It’s like the difference between a city water main and a stream. The water main may pass thousands of gallons of water for years before any significant life takes hold in the pipes. The stream would be supporting life within days.

Chris Cox, a British political consultant did an excellent analysis of strategic political dynamics – including recent American political history – something that I think rattled some of the audience members, much to my amusement. If I was ever running for political office, I’d hire Chris in a heartbeat.

Adam Elkus gave one of the best talks of the conference, on par with Chet Richards and Venkat Rao’s in terms of depth, speaking on “OODA and Robotic Weapons“. Leading with “The metaphor is not Terminator but Starcraft”, Elkus held the audience’s rapt attention as he dismantled a great deal of popular rubbish regarding drones and pointed to the larger, strategic implications of the deployment of autonomous systems within the larger operational context. I first met Adam at the Boyd Conference in 2007 and it has been a pleasure watching him mature into a first rate scholar and thinker on defense issues.

Afterwards, we closed Boyd & Beyond 2012 by enjoying great food and adult beverages at Scott Shipman’s. A wonderful time being had by all.

See you in 2013!

     

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New Release: Creating a Lean R&D System, by Terry Barnhart—a preliminary review

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

[by J. Scott Shipman]

Creating a Lean R&D System, by Terry Barnhart

Friend of this blog, and friend, Terry Barnhart’s new book is available on Amazon. Terry is one of the leading thinkers among those who admire John Boyd’s work.

Terry has spoken at the last three Boyd and Beyond events, and much of the substance of those talks are reflected in this book. I’ve read most of it, and believe it will have wide applicability outside the “lean” community. His sections on the use of A3′s (the subject of his talks at B&B this year) for problem identification/solution and rapid learning have potential at the personal and the organizational level. At the core, Terry is advocating a culture of innovation and providing tools he has proven in practice.

Recommended.

A version is cross posted at To Be or To Do.

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Note on Upcoming Boyd & Beyond Report

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

It is going to be a very large post with a multitude of pictures and links to presenters, Boydian papers and sites of interest.

Unfortunately, it is taking far more time than I would like given my awesomely craptacular personal and professional schedule. But I think it will be a better read if it is done right; the peeps who made the conference possible largely did so gratis – the least they deserve is some blogospheric recognition and link traffic.

I will link to other posts as they emerge.

By the way, California may be the location of the next Boyd and Beyond. Just FYI.

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Quickie Recap: Shipman on Boyd & Beyond 2012

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Scott has a nice piece up at his home blog  To Be or To Do.com which I am taking the liberty of cross-posting as I write my own report:

Boyd and Beyond 2012, Quantico, VA — a quickie recap

For the third consecutive year, Boyd and Beyond was held at Quantico, Virginia. This year we had a record turn-out, approaching 100 on Saturday. In fact, had we had 138 total RSVPs, and many had to cancel at the last minute. This year we were missing our traditional “law enforcement” contingent, but added speakers from areas not traditionally associated with Boydian thoughts and methods, most notably NGOs and humanitarian relief organizations and web design/marketing. Mary Ellen Boyd, one of John Boyd’s daughters, joined us for both days, and her active participation, for me, was a true highlight of the event.

Zenpundit is writing a more exhaustive post, so what I plan to share are a few highlights and will not cover all presenters:

Chet Richards, author of Certain to Win, a close associate of Boyd and the only person authorized to give Boyd’s presentations, gave a one hour talk on Boyd’s Conceptual Spiral and The Meaning of Life. Chet was kind enough to include the paper he delivered on his website Fast Transients. The paper is a fascinating exposition into “how” Boyd’s ideas developed, and the circumstances surrounding the evolution of his presentations.

Terry Barnhart, who has a new book out, Creating a Lean R&D System, walked the audience through the development of an A3, a tool used in Lean problem identification and solution, and sourced from John Shook’s Managing to Learn. Terry’s passion and depth of knowledge have been a benefit at each Boyd and Beyond event since 2010, and this year was no exception.

The remaining speakers were first-timers in both attendance and speaking…..

Read the rest here.

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