The importance of creativity in business remains high amid growing competition and industry disruptors. Focusing on data alone could be quashing your business intuition. Here are three ways to reboot your intuitive leadership mindset.
Check Out to Check In
While rushing around my house getting ready for work one morning, I accidentally kicked a chair leg which resulted in a broken toe. I pride myself on not doing things half-ass, and this accidental run-in with a dining chair was no exception. I looked down to see my poor toe sidling off in a different direction from my other toes. Feeling highly inconvenienced, I tried to shove my toe back into place. It became clear in that moment that I needed to slow down.
A couple of trips to the orthopedic surgeon and a sweet $1,000.00 later, I can now walk freely and sometimes even wear heels. The last few months wore on my mindset though, and I could not pinpoint why. I chalked it up to frustration at my immobility and limited shoe choices, but there was more to it. I had lost an important connection during that time.
The cause of this disconnect became clearer while watching InnSæi, a documentary about the power of intuition. I take observational walks almost daily. They clear my head and enable me to absorb nature and give in to inspiration. This documentary demonstrated the possibility that these walks connect me to my intuition. I made no effort to replenish my intuition in other ways during those less mobile months, and it impacted my psyche in a more negative way than I could have imagined. To fuel your creativity, get away from this screen. Get outside. Get pensive with some quality analog time.
Collect Data to Cultivate Wisdom
For any effective business leader, data and intuition must play well together. One should consume data to educate direction, but intuition connects the dots. Intuition comes from reflective experience and the ability to understand aspects of a situation, break down information and piece it together in a meaningful way. Scientific theories start from hypotheses which are born from advanced intuitive concepts.
Bill George, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, contributed to InnSæi stating that, “by going to this fully rational side, and by focusing everything on the near-term measurement [and] analytical tools, we have ground out or expunged creativity from our companies.”
In this age where data collection pulls rank, we must dispose of the thinking that intuition plays a backseat or that it equates to a mere series of guesses.
Recognize and End Activity for Activity's Sake
We often mistake activity for progress. During the time without my walks, I increasingly associated more work with more progress. Separating from activity and taking time to process information provides clarity around your business purpose. The next time you feel as if you cannot step away from “work” remember that doing so feeds your intuition.
Intuition fuels creativity and innovation. The best leaders are those who understand challenges and consider data but don’t let those things override their vision, ideas, and life experience. When you decide it’s time for a change in business strategy, embrace your intuition. That little voice telling you not to take a certain deal or to accelerate your new campaign idea . . . consult with it. Your intuition may just be on to something.