This isn't to say that Boyd's ideas aren't known in many circles, but they definitely do not get the attention they deserve.
It's partially due to his preference for using oral rather than written communication. While his Pentagon and Capitol Hill briefings were legendary, and a well-written biography undoubtedly raised his public profile, I believe his thinking remains broadly unknown because of its military origin.
Business people don't know what to do with military ideas. On the one hand there clearly are relevant lessons for corporate leaders to gain from military strategists and tacticians. On the other, the fundamentally different purposes of business and war throw off many leaders, particularly women. A woman friend of mine whose ideas I respect a great deal does lots of thinking about business, leadership and marketing, absolutely won't consider military sources or metaphors. It's as if the source contaminates the message so profoundly as to negate any wisdom it might contain.
And that's a pity, especially in Boyd's case. His thinking about agility is particularly sharp. He says developing the ability to adapt rapidly to changing environmental circumstances is a function of three key organizational characteristics: trust, cohesion and initiative.
Leaders develop trust, Boyd says, in the classic fashion: tell the truth, stay in touch, keep your agreements.
Cohesion is a function of establishing a clear, compelling mission, one that others can commit to.
Initiative is the local decision-making/action step that emerges when individuals trust that they've been given the flexibility to act on the mission.
Simple, compelling thinking that is at the heart of many of the world's most successful organizations, and yet, oddly underappreciated by many in the business world.