Because We Lived It!

We Bring Years of Unique, Interdisciplinary Experience

  • 20+ years coaching human factors to develop high-performing teams

  • Practical leadership experience in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs)

  • As former fighter pilots, we have John Boyd's OODA Loop burned into muscle memory

  • Red Teaming experience in complex environments

  • Experienced the value narrative storytelling brings to decision makers

  • Relevant Agile certifications and experience coaching startups and large-scale transformations

“For the learner, having actual practitioners teaching is far more effective than listening to academics, professional trainers, or consultants. Academics and professional trainers tend to have theoretical knowledge. They know how things ought to work, but haven’t lived them.”

- Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc.

20+ Years Coaching Human Factors to Develop High-Performing Teams

During the course of our immersion coaching Agile teams and organizations, we realized that the human systems dynamics problems revealed by Agile frameworks and methodologies are the same problems we learned to overcome as naval aviators to develop effective crews. As F-14 instructors, we conducted initial, annual, and refresher human factors training to develop teamwork, communication, leadership, decision making, and situational awareness among peers and leaders. Based on these experiences, we find the Agile community is 30 years behind military and commercial aviation when it comes to developing these critical human factors skills. 


Practical Leadership Experience in High-Reliability Organizations

The most widely researched example of a High-Reliability Organization (HRO) is a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. As former aviators, our primary responsibility on a carrier was not to fly—but to lead teams of technical specialists. When it comes to building a culture of safety, resiliency, and reliability, HROs are Complex Adaptive Systems that provide lessons for academic study and application to industry. For example, the concept of Antifragility and organizations engaged in the practice of Operational Excellence pull lessons from HROs. Sensemaking (Weick), how organizations deal with uncertain and ambiguous situations, is from the study of HROs, including the flight decks of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. 

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For our clients, the value we bring goes beyond Operational Excellence and the Agile Manifesto. With our HRO experience we help clients establish the anticipatory awareness and mindful culture they need to become resilient and innovative organizations. 

As Former Fighter Pilots, We Have John Boyd's OODA Loop Burned into Muscle Memory 

John Boyd’s OODA loop is explicitly connected to several of today’s Agile frameworks and methodologies including Scrum, The Lean Startup, and product development. The OODA loop goes beyond being the mindset of Agile: it is connected to Cyber security, DevOps, Lean-Kanban, The Lean Enterprise, Design Thinking, patient safety, leadership, law enforcement, firefighting, strategy, politics, maneuver conflict, and more.

“Fighter pilots have John Boyd's OODA loop burned into muscle memory. They know what Agility really means and can teach it uncompromisingly to others.”

- Jeff Sutherland, Co-Creator of Scrum

Red Teaming Experience in Complex Environments

As military planners, we learned the value of Red Teaming — how to mitigate cognitive biases — in crisis response as well as scenario and strategic planning. We regularly used Red Teaming in large scale air, space, and cyber operations, actual hostage rescues, humanitarian assistance operations, and crisis response. 

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For our clients, Red Teaming is a powerful critical thinking and innovation tool that provides sense making and decision making value for leaders involved in safe-to-fail experiments and fail-safe designs.

Experienced the Value Narrative Storytelling Brings to Decision Makers

As Foreign Area Officers (FAO), regionally-focused members of an elite political-military affairs community, we experienced the limitations biased surveys and questionnaires have on understanding dynamic political, economic, sociological, and cultural environments. Unexpected events in North Africa and the Middle East validated that the widely accepted approach to understanding complex systems with surveys and assessments was an exercise in futility. 


As FAOs, while working with non-governmental organizations and other government agencies, we were exposed to narrative work developed by DARPA and Dave Snowden as a way to detect weak signals and make sense of rapidly changing environments. This ground-breaking approach, based off of naturalistic decision making theory and neuroscience, is now commercially available.

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To our clients, we provide this sense-making capability using SenseMaker®, so they can capture how their customers, stakeholders, and employees see the worldnot the way others interpret it. 

Relevant Agile Certifications and Experience Coaching Startups and Large-Scale Transformations

Contact AGLX — before your competition does! 

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