John Boyd: Patterns of Conflict presentation and biography

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Posted by Matthew Stibbe

I had heard about John Boyd’s legendary Patterns of Conflict before I read his biography. But I had never seen it so I went on a quest to find it!

Regular readers will know that I have an interest in military history.  (See How to improve morale and confidence and Interview with Stephen Bungay.) I’m reading an excellent biography of John Boyd (Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) at the moment and this has really got me thinking. 

Boyd: Patterns of Conflict presentation

Sun Tzu’s Art of War is sometimes read as a business manual. There are some who think that John Boyd was the Sun Tzu of our age. His Patterns of conflict presentation was a six-hour briefing that was hugely influential in American military circles.

I found a version of his masterwork, the Patterns of conflict briefing.

Download Patterns of Conflict presentation as a PDF Download



Review of Boyd: The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War

Colonel John Boyd (USAF) told people that they had a choice: they could be somebody or they could do something. Being somebody meant playing by the rules and getting promoted. Doing something was John Boyd's speciality.

Book cover for 'Boyd: The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War'

With no power but his convictions, he was a revolutionary. For example, he changed air combat, instigated the F-16 fighter programme, overturned Marine Corps tactics and inspired the war-winning strategy during the first Gulf War.

Robert Coram’s Boyd biography (Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) is a well-written story of how he did it. Not only for aviation enthusiasts and military historians (who must read it), this book is interesting to a general audience. As a result, I think it is particularly useful for managers.

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