My previous article Mapping is not the important part of Wardley maps got the attention of Chris Daniel is the person behind @wardleymaps and @lefep. He helps CXO (and the rest of the world) use Wardley Maps.
In military, on the level of a team, the situation may look like you have described. It is a map and quite standardised approaches. But when you think about larger operations (D-Day from the perspective of Nazis), the fact that you observe enemy ships does not mean they are about to land. They may be just trying to mask landing happening elsewhere. The Orientation is far more important, and getting it wrong (‘the reporting officer must have been drunk’) has quite dramatic consequences.
Same in business, decision is a secondary to the orientation. In fact, after the Orientation, given your appetite to risk and external circumstances, there is usually a very limited choice of actions, if at all, and sometimes I tend to replace ‘Decide’ with ‘Acknowledge’. But you are right, in business we are far behind in how we look at our observations, how we learn what are our constraints and what other players will do. We need to get better at this part.
Chris @wardleymaps or @lefep
continue to comment if I missed something.
I take Observe in a very literal way. This is what you can see or measure. This is how OODA loop was used in combat, and this is what humans do as the first thing. They observe physical things first.
Orient is a phase where you build situational awareness and add meaning to observations, which includes making sense of landscape and climatic patterns. That allows you also to anticipate what is going to happen due to the Evolution and economic patterns. I would also put there Doctrine for gap analysis - what should you be doing vs what you do. I would even put here Scenario gameplays (“Leadership”) as they offer you more choices as of what you can do.
Decide for me is mostly about weighing up pros and cons of each available action.
Act is domain specific.
In that interpretation, mapping itself is just a skill complementing the OODA loop, but not mandatory to it.
I hope it makes sense :). And thank you for starting this topic, I am very grateful I could finally explain it to someone (and to myself).