Intuitive Intelligence: The New Key to Problem Solving and Decision Making (part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 9.39.29 PMLast week we began a discussion of Intuitive Intelligence as a way to make use of our inherent abilities and aptitudes in the task of creative problem solving and optimum decision making.  The four tenets of Intuitive Intelligence are thinking holistically, thinking paradoxically, noticing the unusual, and leading by influence. We continue by exploring tenet number three.

3. Noticing the Unusual

The third tenet is the ability to look beyond what’s usual, to notice the odd and unfamiliar, and to embrace the paradoxical and mysterious nature of life, beyond what we know or what we’re used to perceiving.  To notice is to pay attention, and for this we use our senses.  We can pay attention outwardly by seeing what’s around us, or we can pay attention inwardly by feeling what’s inside of us.  When we notice things we can receive information in two ways; one is paying attention to what make logical sense, the other is paying attention beyond the logical sense of what we contemplate.  In the second case we have to open up to our feelings, our emotions, our sensations, and our intuition.  We get closer to our instinctual nature, and our creative imagination gets triggered.  We connect with our unconscious; we gain access to, and nourish, our imagination and creativity.

4.  Leading by Influence

There is at the heart of any living system a self-organizing principle.  The less we try to control it, the more we can reap its power and creatively engage with it.  The worst way to deal with The same is true for the creative process.  Any creative process is experimental and chaotic due to its unpredictability.  Successfully leading disruptive innovation calls for someone who can lead by influence and leverage the self-organizing principle present at the heart of the chaotic process of creativity to facilitate transformation and guide the process towards effective change.

This following simple anecdote illustrates the practical application of the four tenets of Intuitive Intelligence.  A student I met while teaching at the graduate program of Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) drove every day to the business school campus, which is in the countryside close to Versailles, approximately twelve miles away from where he lived.  Because he is from Chile, he had been relying on his car’s GPS to find his way each day.  But one day, after a seminar on Intuitive Intelligence, he decided not to switch on his GPS and to instead rely on his gut instincts to find his way.  He had a big smile on his face when he told the entire class that driving to the campus without the help of his GPS actually worked perfectly and more easily!

So, this is how intuitive intelligence was manifested for my student:

Thinking Holistically:  Finding his way to the campus was transformed into a richer experience, one colored with emotional, intellectual, instinctual, and almost spiritual aspects; it ultimately both a task and a game.  It was about a journey of self discovery and adventure as much as it was about achieving a goal.

Thinking Paradoxically:  He managed to get to campus more easily while taking a paradoxical problem-solving approach: relying on less factual information.

Noticing the Unusual: To make choice at any given crossroads, he had to pay attention and be receptive to his inner perceptions, even if they were unusual (not reading instructions on a screen or taking visual cues on a digital map).

Leading by Influence:  He accepted giving up logical control over the situation and letting other seemingly random possibilities emerge to help him find his way as he kept focused on his goal:  getting to the campus on time.

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