Sunday, November 10, 2013

An Intuitive Mindset

A valuable Intuition is an insight with the speed of thought. 

We all know intuition plays an important role in decision making or innovation. It’s really interesting to know what intuition is. It’s really interesting to know how we use intuition - consciously or subconsciously; it’s also interesting to know how to read between the lines and make the right decision, as well as how to listen to your inner voice and decide

The term intuition, according to Wikipedia, "is used to describe 'thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection"; according to Oxford dictionaries, is "the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.". Many may think intuition is opposite to logic, but more precisely, an intuitive mind is a complementary thinking process to rational thinking.

Intuition is an implicit cognition: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” is a book written by Nobel Prize winner in Economics Daniel Kahneman (DK): What Kahneman calls “fast” and “slow” thinking, corresponds to what cognitive neuroscience and cognitive science today call “implicit” and “explicit” cognition. Implicit cognition is automatic, unconscious or intuitive (gut feeling) cognition. Gut feeling and another implicit cognition are very good at prediction as long as the environment is highly predictable and stable.

Business pioneers, who are ultimately accepted as leaders, are blessed with intuition. They introduce new business concepts, out of box systems and procedures for the efficient use of natural and human resources.  INTUITION, therefore, is the KEY to business INNOVATION. It develops through advanced education, the constant pursuit of knowledge and Divine Wisdom. When leaders learn how they have effectively used intuition in the past, they become more effective at harnessing this attribute for future decisions in their business and personal lives

Intuition - is like the inner compass that gives direction to the leader in making the decisions. For this inner compass to work correctly, the leaders should have the right balance of the Depth and Breadth of the Technical and Business knowledge. This knowledge comes from a combination of several things such as educational training, experience from the past successes/failures, observation, cognizance etc. That means intuition is not lack of knowledge or lack of training. Education as "a step-by-step process to acquire knowledge; intuition, therefore, is a "reflex expression of wisdom that is the first step in the right direction to provide acceptable answers to questions regarding social and natural sciences. Like many things, you have to train many times consciously, in order that it becomes automatic (unconscious). INTUITION is a result of self-training and observation.
The key is well to balance intuition and logic; think fast and slow with harmony. Einstein famously said: Logic will take you from A to B, but imagination will encircle the world. In business, if we only use the logical side, we're limiting our opportunities. We need to use both - our rational, logical minds and also our intuitive minds. Breakthrough ideas always are logical - in hindsight, but they are rarely or never logical in foresight. We need an intuitive approach for the logical breakthrough! The human brain can be a magnificent synthesizer of disparate pieces of nebulous information, and often formal techniques and procedures thwart and inhibit this mysterious mechanism from operating efficiently. Intuition can be divided into:
- Undeveloped intuition
- Muscular intuition
- Magic Intuition
- Psychic intuition 

Business decision making is also such an "on balance" scenario, which needs to be supported by, but going beyond the data we can master. You need intuition (the wisdom of past experience and pattern-recognition - both conscious and subconscious) to take the final step. In other words, most business and other decisions involve some degree of "innovation". If this were not the case, we could program computers to sift all the evidence and decide things for us. Perhaps intuition is the food and underpinning of judgment. We do whatever analysis we can. Then intuition helps us take the final, ambiguous step required for making a choice. More than 80% of leaders used their intuition; the business world can increase productivity and overall performance by systematically harnessing people's intuitive brain power.

The big issue is that intuition needs some kind of catalyst - we need to be provoked to make our intuition work. Sometimes that can be as easy as asking a right-brain-oriented question. An intuition should be taken as a new insight, a new idea, a new angle, but must be backed with sound reasoning in the end before putting it into action. The entrepreneurs and innovators live and breathe in an intellectual world of their own. They read a lot. They discuss a lot. They analyze a lot. They debate a lot. They differ a lot. AND they always end up with storing sets of agreeable and disagreeable options on every subject of their interest in the back of their minds, on their computers or in their notebooks. The quality of intuition takes more deep thought, not less.

So intuition is the quality or ability to have such direct perception or quick insight. It’s a subconscious mode of evaluation that can help better understand the so-called "reality", in which we operate, maximizing our engagement with the broader and deeper aspects of our mind and our experience. And in the case of learning to access one's intuition, it's not just about hoping, relaxing, or going numb; it's about proactively opening yourself. And, there is some forcing: to step away from the normal noises and messages of life, which absolutely have their place but often drown-out or override intuition. 

That all being said, even at today’s analytic world, intuition has its unique space in decision making, innovation and almost anything we do, it’s a keen and quick insight or the thought with speed.


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