Monday, 26 October 2015

Is Intuitive Decision Making Hyped?

You wouldn’t have to think hard if I asked you to cite an instance when you took a split second decision without probing into the facts and it turned out to be spot-on. While the inability to produce a reason in this advanced evidential age could be particularly vexatious for your pragmatically driven mind, people still laud your exactitude. Well, you just knew.
You just know a business decision would turn out to be a disaster because of a clenched gut, or a hunch tells you that a prospective candidate would have personality clashes with other team members; or a sense of contentment that sets a long term friendship in motion. And yet, a majority of us ignore that bleak alarm that sets off in the back of our heads.  
Managers make decisions based on intuition almost on a daily basis; only this phenomenon is rarely acknowledged. When it comes to bigger, wider, and strategic decisions, there is heavy reliance on numbers and statistics, psychometric tests, and other scientific tools, which are not only time consuming but also bombard the decision maker with a lot of irrelevant information which may cloud the process or worse, inspire a wrong decision.  
Conversely, intuition is not characteristic of everyone alike. Secondly, it is important not to confuse a colleague’s influence, workplace power dynamics, or mere likeness towards a person as intuitive prompts. Besides, the accuracy of intuitive decisions is way more important than their frequency. Imagine if your were to justify an important business deal gone awry and you’d say you just knew?? Then, is it possible to rely solely on this holistic method of decision making as so many researches are advocating? Are women better intuitive decision makers than men? Should you be able to play chess like a grand master to be able to master the art of intuition. The answer to all these questions is ‘No’ and here’s why.

The more it is used, the better it gets; so does experience.
Intuitive advocates opine that to be able to make accurate decisions, you need to be more in tune with yourself; the more you listen to it, the clearer the voice gets. Decision making is more of a trial and error in the beginning. The more experience you have, the more you’ll understand where to look for loopholes. That scenario is anyway conducive to the accuracy of a decision.
The more quantifiable the outcome; the easier it is to predict.
Intuitive prediction cannot quantify outcomes. A product you’ve just invented has immense potential to take over the market.  But you can’t launch it just because you know it’ll work. You will need a thorough study of your target market and some numbers from the test launch to predict its sales potential.
You cannot know what you don't know.
The unconscious and subconscious minds are reservoirs of past experiences. Intuition draws on these experiences to be able to work. Therefore, decisions outside of familiar territory may not be accurate. 
Good decision making is an art. No one decision making technique can prove effective in all sorts of scenarios. Decision makers may need to concoct a recipe of various techniques to predict with precision. And as one of the great minds of our time said "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

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