decision ‘faking’ by intuition

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einsteinintuition einstein 2



Einstein is usually smarter than this. He is slightly off the mark here.


Well. Maybe he did get it right because he also seemed to have said this:


“Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind.” – Einstein



intuition albert einstein quotes Maybe he was smart <note: tongue in check statement>.

More likely … Einstein simply never said half the crap that people said he said.




Management and decision making by instinct or intuition has reached what I would call a ‘crisis level’ in business today.

Let me explain.



Knowledge is good.


But knowing what to do with it?

Let’s call that ‘intuition”… well … that is gooder.

Let’s say even excellent.



But that’s a combo meal. Main entrée is knowledge and the side item is intuition.

Don’t like that metaphor?


Knowledge is the science and intuition is the art.

That combination is often called ‘decision making.’


Here is the challenge in today’s business world <and possibly Life>.


The gap between what our intuition says and what data & facts actually say … is growing wider.

What I mean by that is computers and data have the ability to uncover correlation between facts that almost defy common sense … or, at minimum, simply make us scratch our heads and say ‘what?” <or “really???”> … and that really questiondiscomfort will inevitably lead to a desire to indulge our intuition <as being better than facts>.



This leads to what I call ‘Decision faking.’


Here is where I struggle with intuition.

It’s becoming more and more clear to me that facts are less important to many people. Feelings make decisions, then, and only then, are facts brought in as back up.

Its mixed up … the wrong priorities for good decision making.



It is becoming a common business scenario in which intuition made decisions create situations where you end up pulling the trigger first and ask the hard questions later.


This is possibly a general critique of American society … not just business.


Think about this.

Thinking and feeling and intuition is actually a business formula. Without doing any research or deep thought … I would suggest great decision making is maybe an 80/20 Pareto rule. 80% thinking & knowledge combined with 20% feeling or intuition creates a great decision.

intuition wrong

Sure. Statistics and facts can lie. But so can intuition and feeling.

In fact. In business studies the data suggests our instincts & intuition <in business> … or ‘going with your gut’ suck. We make bad decisions when based on this.


Great thinking combines all the potential lies and sifts thru it all for truth.



When I look at the business world we seem to have forgotten the difference between thinking and feeling. And worse … we seem to believe feeling is more important.


You feel like you are doing the right thing so you do it.

You feel like something is okay because someone told you to do it.

You feel like everything is okay in the end if you can show that why you actually did something was because your feelings were genuine.

You feel like acting on your feelings begets forgiveness for actions and bad decisions.



I feel that’s a bunch of bullhockey.




Intuition is a grown skill. It is not really something you are born with.

Well. Maybe better said … people can be born with a good intuition muscle … intuition listenunderdeveloped and awaiting to be strengthened … but no one is born with a well-developed intuition muscle.


Therefore you must have the desire to focus on strengthening it. The gym will not come to you … you must go to the gym.


I have also found that business decisions guided by impulse and emotion tend to incorporate a high level of politics and political calculation at exactly the same time.

How will it look?

Who will like it?

Will I benefit?


I imagine taking some time and asking the hard questions won’t alleviate the political aspect … but possibly some time tempers the influence politics have on it. At minimum it shifts the dial slightly away from ‘individual benefit ‘ politics intuition to more ‘group benefit’ intuition.


The debate in business is always on what’s better. To rely on intuition <feeling> or rely on deliberate thinking while making decisions. Fact is in some cases it’s better to rely on feeling and in some on deliberate thinking and the trick is to know which to choose when. But in either case you are using both … simply relying on one more than other at the end.


Intuition should open us to thought … not define the thought.

Maybe it could be used a deterrent … use it to avoid things.



You should always value what your head & gut are telling you.

But it’s the combination … knowledge and intuition which reaps the highest returns.


Here is what I feel <pun intended>.


We need to defend decision making made through knowledge and thinking.



stay trueBecause true thinking is … well … innocent.

The deck is stacked against it but in its naiveté it believes if it simply does the right thing <be itself> it will win.

Truth believes if it remains good and just goes out and attend meetings, go to schools, sit down at the kitchen table, go to church and not give a shit about politics and political correctness and just live their lives … well … it will all work out. Truth will win.



Not so much.

It won’t.


Thinking needs to be protected.


It needs to be protected from intuition as the way to do things. Or maybe we just need to protect ourselves in business from ‘decision by feelings is more important’ type attitudes.


This is not as an easy thing to do nor am I saying it flippantly.

We battle common sense <because sometimes it really doesn’t make sense>.

We battle real knowledge and data <because sometimes it doesn’t look like it makes sense>.

We battle ourselves <we don’t really know what we want>.


“Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.” – Don Marquis



We do know what we want.

We want our decisions to ‘feel right’ when we make them.

And sometimes it seems like we are willing to go thru hell to feel that way.


Here is the point about facts and thinking. We have gobs of theories we espouse in business hallways almost ad nausea … but … have enough facts … and the correlations are there <if you look … and think>.


Even if the correlations don’t seem to make sense … or even common sense … the knowledge is there to be plucked from the information available.

The difficulty is that … well … two things I imagine … <1> We are constantly bombarded by information therefore we seem to seek refuge in intuition clinging to some ‘gut feeling’ that seem to make the cluttered world of information available clear and <2> we like to make hasty decisions under the guise of ‘we cant waste our time overthinking this.’


The trouble is that our gut is infamously consistent in that it is often biased by stereotypes and generalizations and … well … frankly … experiences <good and bad … or quantity of versus lack of>.


I say that because while some young people may have good natural instincts … they will inevitably have great instincts when older if they hone it through experience. And the corollary to that is some older more experienced business people will have great instincts … and absolutely better instincts than a younger less experienced instinct muscle.

Experience absolutely hones a natural intuition.


Knowledge hones a natural intuition.


Look.intuition knowledge wisdom

I’m not suggesting you should ignore intuition.

Just that real information and real thinking and the rigor that comes along with the ‘real’ versus instinctual ‘feelings’ is first & foremost the key to great decision making.


If you make intuition your main criteria to making a decision? You are simply decision faking.


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Written by Bruce