!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Cultivating Sound Intuition

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cultivating Sound Intuition

In the Fall issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review, Kurt Matzler (professor of international management at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria), Franz Bailom (a consultant based in Innsbruck), and Todd A. Mooradian (associate professor of marketing at William and Mary's Mason School of Business) summarize what we know about developing reliable intuitive decision-making in business.

The key point is that intuition is not some kind of ESP. Rather it
is really one's ability to recognize patterns at lightning speed — a process that often happens unconsciously. This is an especially important trait for complex decisions. ... Complex decisions ... bring into play a process in which knowledge, experience and emotions are linked, and this process is what people commonly think of when they hear the word "intuition."
Matzler, Bailom, and Mooradian point to six requirements that enable someone to exercise reliable intuition:
  • Experience — produces the "facts, patterns, concepts, procedures and abstractions" that one draws on when making an intuitive decision in a complex situation.

  • Networks — allow one to share experiences and get constructive feedback on decisions.

  • Emotional intelligence — the ability to recognize and "read" one's emotional reactions.

  • Tolerance of mistakes — since well-rounded learning includes learning from mistakes.

  • Curiosity — the basis for discovering new opportunities.

  • Limits — rather than depending exclusively on intuition, effective managers "reflect on their intuitive decisions before they execute them."
It is important to emphasize that Matzler, Bailom, and Mooradian view intuition as a faculty to be honed, and one to be used in decision-making only in conjunction with checking of hunches and impulses against facts and observations. This concept of intuition is qualitatively different from the concept used by those, such as Daniel Kahneman, who caution against depending on intuition to make decisions.


Labels: , ,