In our current scientific minded world, there is a constant push for leaders to rely on analytics in their decision making processes. However, many leaders, particularly seasoned leaders with a great deal of successful experience, develop a deep sense of intuition that plays a role in decision making, and the challenge for organizations becomes finding the balance between trusting the analytics, and taking risk by following the leader’s intuition.
Intuition is the individual expertise that resides largely in intuition, which cannot easily be summed up in words alone, and can often run slightly against the analytics present (Davenport & Prusak, 2010). Intuition is often associated with sudden revelation of solution to the problem at hand rather than the slow methodical process of mining, sorting, and presenting trusted analytics (Čavojová & Hanák, 2014). One misconception of leaders relying on intuition is that it is void of valued information. Intuition is really a mixture of being connected with unconscious processing of information (Dijksterhuis, Nordgren, 2006), relying on experience (Klein, 2001), transforming experience into routines (Betsch & Haberstroh, 2013), and processing intuitive thoughts and “gut feelings” (Evans, 2010).
A possible reason why this misconception about intuition decision making exists may be because it appears to be fast, automatic, has a high processing capacity and low effort involved (Evans & Frankish, 2009). What the research on intuition has found is that intuition does rely on less information than analytical decision making, but it is higher quality information that is more relevant to the specific issue, and the information is collected, processed, and assimilated slowly over time outside the parameters of the immediate decision being made (Gigerenzer, 2008). This allows intuition to be informed rather than driven, providing quick decision making with a high accuracy rate of success.
Betsch, T., & Haberstroh, S. (Eds.). (2013). The routines of decision making. Hove: Psychology.
Čavojová, V., & Hanák, R. (2014). How Much Information Do You Need? Interaction of Intuitive Processing with Expertise. KOĽKO INFORMÁCIÍ POTREBUJETE? INTERAKCIA INTUITÍVNEHO SPRACOVÁVANIA S EXPERTNOSŤOU., 56(2), 83–97.
Davenport, T. H., & Prusak, L. (2010). Working knowledge: how organizations manage what they know (Nachdr.). Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.
Dijksterhuis, A., & Nordgren, L. F. (2006). A Theory of Unconscious Thought. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 95–109. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00007.x
Evans, J. S. B. T. (2010). Intuition and Reasoning: A Dual-Process Perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 21(4), 313–326. http://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2010.521057
Evans, J. S. B. T., & Frankish, K. (Eds.). (2009). In two minds: dual processes and beyond. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Gigerenzer, G. (2008). Gut feelings: the intelligence of the unconscious.