Artificial intelligence and big data aren’t always applicable in decision-making and strategic planning.
Things aren’t as they seem.
Officially, the Great Recession was declared in December 2007 by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The gross domestic product had declined by 4.3 percent, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to nearly 10 percent, countless people lost their homes and many wealthy persons lost millions of dollars.
NBER is “a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to conducting economic research and to disseminating research findings among academics, public policy makers, and business professionals.”
Unfortunately, NBER researchers only spotted the macroeconomic signals and did not understand what was happening in terms of microeconomics to Main Street businesses and consumers.
As a business-performance consultant, I spotted the downturn nearly two years before the researchers. So, intuitively I knew something was drastically wrong.
You see, my clients were heavily dependent on the credit-worthiness and net worth of their customers. We had countless client meetings in which these issues were discussed.
At the time, I was also writing a business column for the news media, and many readers chortled at my intuitive warnings.
Intuition vs. instinct
Intuition and instincts are not truly interchangeable.
Intuition is an understanding sans any conscious alternative to thought or to reasoning. Intuition is learned. Instinct isn’t a feeling. It’s an embedded tendency for taking action.
In this gig economy, strategic decisions must be quickly made in a myriad of ways such as whether to expand into a new market, mergers and acquisitions or whether to make research and development investments.
So, when should you act on your intuition when data isn’t available or it’s counter-intuitive?
Obviously, in critical high-pressure moments, typically we have to intuitively make quick decisions without the benefit of salient information.
In perilous situations, there’s often disagreement in strategy among team members or other stakeholders. That’s why we have to depend on the intuition of leaders who are worthy of our faith.
A highly intuitive person will quickly generate information without the benefit of published data or facts and will take action.
Right-brain thinking is subconscious, fast and instinct based. Left-brain thinking is more conscious, analytical, slow and seemingly conservative.
So intuition is beneficial in emergencies and critical situations.
Right type of thinking
It’s a hidden talent based on right-brain thinking. Such people don’t know why they have it.
They simply see the right paths to take, are confident in their decisions and don’t engage in self-doubt after taking action.
Career-wise, they’re astute in marketing. Or, as the adage goes, they “know what will play in Peoria.”
Proverbially speaking, in delicate situations they’re able to “read the room.” This means they’re empathetic, and consistently and accurately perceive the feelings of others.
No, they’re not mind readers. They simply have a superior ability to analyze body language, voices and important factors for decision-making.
Source of confidence
All of this is why they’re able to connect well with others.
They’re confident. They have gut feelings such as in business negotiations, picking the right job applicant or selecting the right product strategy.
They have an attitude of gratitude which means they block negativity and stay away from toxic people because they’re vexations to a positive environment.
They’re their own best company. They’re self aware.
That’s because they’ve identified their strengths and weaknesses and take steps to upgrade themselves.
Ironically, they realize many situations don’t require them to immediately make decisions.
Intuitive people will consider their gut feelings as salient data points. But they take the time and effort to make an evaluation.
They guard against over-confidence. Innately, they follow the approach of famed business philosopher Peter Drucker who once said: “Arrogance is being proud of ignorance.”
They easily manage stress. So, they know when to be alone.
Staying in the moment
They stay in the moment. They don’t fret about the past nor do ask “what if” questions and worry about the future.
They don’t hold onto their anger and carry around a bag of resentments. They understand that many illnesses are psychosomatic – they’re caused by fear and stress.
Intuitive people become wise because they’re deep thinkers and are very observant.
They know that many times things aren’t always as they seem. They notice little things that others ignore because they’re more alert and focused.
They develop parameters or a structure for decision-making. That gives them predictability; giving them a basis for their intuition.
They hone their strengths as talents for positive outcomes. One net result is that they’re more trusted because people trust experience.
Their experience and talents help others to feel confident their judgments even when there’s not a strong basis for the judgments.
Intuitive leaders are also open-minded. They’re not sarcastic and dismissive, and they discourage group think.
They think of all the reasons why plans can go north or awry to the south. They inculcate this type of thinking in their organizations’ cultures.
They start with an hypothesis and plan to collect information. But they make certain their process is systematic with high-quality information.
They don’t allow bias by closed-minded people. Then, they evaluate the process for relevance.
They hold high-quality but short, informative staff meetings.
They don’t hold contempt of differing ideas. When an employee makes what appears to be a ridiculous suggestion, intuitive leaders will focus on principles not personalities.
They’re inquisitive as to why an employee would make such a suggestion. After all, that’s the approach that led to them to be successful as intuitive leaders in the first place.
From the Coach’s Corner, additional relevant articles on leadership:
Leadership: The Best 11 Steps to Become a Leader – Whether you aspire to become a leader or want to get better at leading people, it’s certainly a huge job. Here’s how to lay a foundation to become an effective leader.
Leadership in Entrepreneurship: 20 Emotions and Processes – Successful business owners are different because they take positive approaches that help them emotionally, physically and financially.
Habits of Leaders Who Have Positive Workplace Cultures – The Digital Age and global economy are demanding. Texting and emails are the norm. Face-to-face communication is minimal. This can hurt workplace cultures. Here’s what leaders do about it.
How to Rewire Your Brain to Get Confidence for Leadership – As prime minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill provided lessons in enthusiasm for leadership. To take your business to the highest level, you must be at the top of your game to maximize your confidence as a leader.
For Strong Profits, 5 Tips to Develop Employees as Leaders – Strong leaders will help your business grow and enjoy excellent profits. That’s because, as role models, they’re instrumental in helping you develop a performance culture.
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”