What do you do when all of your analysis and strategic planning ending up with answers that suggest “stay the course”? Especially when there is no evidence to support a shift but your gut is telling you to move. Business and strategic plans can be great operational tools if they are appropriately woven into a concerns operational eco-system. What we have to remember is that eco-systems are influenced by outside forces, often dramatically so. During our planning , an analytical process, we make assumptions about what the outside forces are and how they will influence our system. This is where intuitive thinking – dirt under your nails – comes into play. Good intuition comes from years of firsthand knowledge that allows you to understand how people and the world works. This often allows you to appreciate the value derived from forward-looking (a 2 to 3 year perspective is best) and the development of ‘real-word’ based test models or pilots to verify a hunch.
Work It Like Apple
Nilofer Merchant, CEO and Chief Strategist of Rubicon Consulting, in her recent post “If You’re Looking At The Past To Design The Future, You’re Going To Crash and Burn” breaks down a perfect example of why one needs to employ both analytic and intuitive thinking to your business. But more importantly when and how each should be employed.
Discover the Game Changer
The long and short of it all is that common knowledge may not be correct. Answer a question by finding the obvious answer first, then go back and look for the not-obvious one. This is why I love hybrid thinking (a combination of process, people, and critical based thinking) because it works best when you continually ask yourself:
- Does this make sense from perspective 1, 2, or 3?
- If so, why?
- If not, why not?
Keep an open mind. Tests new experiences and knowledge against the past. If the outcomes are consistent with what is known, keep your view. If not, strive to learn why there is an inconsistency. Once resolved, either keep your existing frame of reference or alter it to include the new experience, education, culture or many other factors that contribute to your view the world.