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The rational case for using your intuition in leadership


I was recently asked: “How much should a CEO rely on intuition?” My gut reaction was it depends on how good his intuition is. This is a very important question facing you as a leader, knowing when to trust your gut and when not to can make the difference between being right or wrong. A quick review of the research says the jury is still out on whether leaders should rely on their intuition. And I guess my own jury is still out, as there are advantages and disadvantages to intuitive leadership. It is tempting to argue that leaders should never trust their gut, thereby implying they should make decisions based solely on objective, logical analysis. Quantitative scientists say leaders use intuition because of their cognitive limitations and that this results in less than desirable outcomes. This thinking holds that intuition is a strategy of last resort and should be employed only when you cannot use a theoretical basis or rational thinking.


Via Thomas Menk
Philippe Vallat's insight:

I disagree with many aspects stated in this paper:

1) Let's start with a proper definition of intuition, namely "direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intuition

2) The "reasoned intuition", or "experts' intuition", which is by definition NOT intuition, is based on experience, that is a lot experience in the same, stable context. It is recognition, not intuition.

3) It is enough demonstrated that there is no such thing like "objective, logical analysis" on its own, for emotions do always, consciously or not, play with.

4) In a new, unknown, uncertain, unpredictable decision context, the "reasoned intuition" is, by lack of experience, of no help, misleading and even dangerous.

5) There is no such thing like "wrong intuition" according to point 1. A "wrong intuition" is either a situation as under point 4), or a reasoning polluted by wishes and fears.

 

Please, to argue on intuition, use first at all the proper definition and take in account the latest scientifical studies in neurosciences and consciousness. I really get problems with materialistic views that still spread beliefs and wrong information about human decision making.

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Thomas Menk's comment, September 26, 2013 4:29 AM
.. danke Philippe für deinen Kommentar, den ich in einigen Punkten unterschreibe. Generell tue ich mich schwer, wenn man Intuition nur auf Erfahrungswissen, wie auch immer man dieses dann definiert, begrenzt. Intuition ist weit mehr als das. Trotzdem fand ich den Kontext dieses Artikels interessant, dass ein Berater für Islamic Leadership in einer Zeitschrift aus Abu Dhabi einen solchen Artikel für die Leser für wichtig hält. Ich persönlich habe keinerlei Erfahrungen über Führungs- und Entscheidungskultur in Middle East, finde es trotzdem toll, das Intuition, auch wenn der Autor hier keinen wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund vermuten lässt, in diesen Ländern als Thema diskutiert wird.
Philippe Vallat's comment, September 26, 2013 4:49 AM
Danke Thomas. Der Kontext ist spannend und ich habe kaum mehr Erfahrung als du. Immerhin hätte ich schon eine andere Qualität anstatt einer Durchmischung "intuition - gut feelings - instinct" erwartet.
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Stress can reduce you to a 'small child' and impair critical decision making

Stress can reduce you to a 'small child' and impair critical decision making | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
IF you think being under pressure helps you perform better then you're lying to yourself! Research has revealed stress can impair your ability to think critically
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How Do Agents Make Decisions?

When designing an agent-based simulation, an important question to answer is how to model the decision making processes of the agents in the system. A large number of agent decision making models can be found in the literature, each inspired by different aims and research questions. In this paper we provide a review of 14 agent decision making architectures that have attracted interest. They range from production-rule systems to psychologically- and neurologically-inspired approaches. For each of the architectures we give an overview of its design, highlight research questions that have been answered with its help and outline the reasons for the choice of the decision making model provided by the originators. Our goal is to provide guidelines about what kind of agent decision making model, with which level of simplicity or complexity, to use for which kind of research question.by Tina Balke and Nigel Gilbert


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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, November 12, 2:13 PM

For those note familiar with agent-based social simulation, the idea is to simulate the individual decisions of many "agents", each representing a person, in some situation.  For example, we might model decisions that people make as they move through a train station or amusement park, in order to design those places to best handle traffic flow. 


This is a terrific, comprehensive review article, covering a number of ways of approaching the task of modeling those individual decisions made by simulated agents.  Each is designed with somewhat different constraints in mind.  For instance, some models like SOAR, are meant to mimic certain cognitive processes.


From a Decision Intelligence point of view, these approaches are complementary.  If we want a sophisticated model of the emergent behavior of a large number of people, as one building block in a decision model for what to do about it, an agent-based simulation can be very helpful. For instance, we might be trying to decide which new medicine to launch, taking into account our competitors, our price to produce the medicine, and its impact on disease.  Part of that decision model might be based on an agent-based simulation of the decisions that people make to take the medicine, and their behavior that leads to contracting the disease. 


To continue the example, we could either use an agent-based simulation to learn from the agent-based simulation, or have it run in the same simulation as a decision model. For an example of the first, an agent-based simulation might show that the disease is expected to grow geographically according to a certain pattern. That spread pattern would then be an external input to a decision model. 


The second way to use this is to use the decision model to interactively move certain assumptions about the decision-making process, and to immediately observe the impact on agents. For instance, we may adjust the number of dollars invested in a public health campaign and observe how that impacts the emergent properties of an agent-based simulation.  There are a lot of possibilities here!



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Why Intuit Founder Scott Cook Wants You To Stop Listening To Your Boss

Why Intuit Founder Scott Cook Wants You To Stop Listening To Your Boss | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Why do gigantic companies made up of insanely intelligent people make bad decisions? Because they rely on persuasion and PowerPoint, Cook says, not...
Philippe Vallat's insight:

I like that one: "you make better decisions because it's actually real consumers or real production methods that aren't based on theory or a PowerPoint. It's based on real results."

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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, November 6, 3:31 AM

Lean-Startup approach: experiment, experiment, experiment again...

David Hain's curator insight, November 6, 3:46 AM

"...So I said, wait a minute. Whenever reasonable, let's move from decisions by persuasion to decisions by experiment." - Intuit founder

Rescooped by Philippe Vallat from Homo Agilis (Collective Intelligence, Agility and Sustainability : The Future is already here)
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Framework for Fairness: A model for fair decision making in business

Framework for Fairness: A model for fair decision making in business | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Some notions seem obvious: the need to be fair, the need to do right. And yet in our societies we are not equal. We fail to do the right thing on many levels, not because we are bad people, but bec...

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Claude Emond's curator insight, October 30, 10:29 PM

This is an awesome post. Very nice framework.I will promote it, try it myself and add it in my decision making workshops

Claude Emond's curator insight, October 30, 10:32 PM

This is an awesome post. Very nice framework.I will promote it, try it myself and add it in my decision making workshops

Pierre Deschênes's curator insight, October 31, 2:25 PM

Un processes simple pour mesurer et concevoir l'équité. 

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La décision dans un monde VICA (1/2)

La décision dans un monde VICA (1/2) | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it

Automne 1941. L’amiral américain Husband E. Kimmel,  commandant en chef de la flotte du Pacifique, a réuni son état-major. Les nouvelles sont mauvaises : la flotte japonaise a disparu et nul ne connaît ses intentions. Sont-elles belliqueuses ? Faut-il mobiliser l’armée des Etats-Unis qui ne sont pas encore en guerre ? Confusion, incertitudes, enjeux majeurs - la base de décision de l’Amiral n’est pas très confortable, aussi exhorte-t-il son état-major à « craquer le code radio des japonais » pour enfin savoir, afin qu’il puisse prendre « la meilleure des décisions ».

Philippe Vallat's insight:

Premier de 2 articles sur la décision dans l'incertitude, publiés dans le Bulletin de la Société Fribourgeoise des Officiers.

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Rescooped by Philippe Vallat from Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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Collective choices under ambiguity

Abstract: We investigate experimentally whether collective choice matters for individual attitudes to ambiguity. We consider a two-urn Ellsberg experiment: one urn offers a 45% chance of winning a fixed monetary prize, the other an ambiguous chance. Participants choose either individually or in groups of three. Group decision rules vary. In one treatment the collective choice is taken by majority; in another it is dictated by two group members; in the third it is dictated by a single group member. We observe high proportions of ambiguity averse choices in both individual and collective decision making. Although a majority of participants display consistent ambiguity attitudes across their decisions, collective choice tends to foster ambiguity aversion, especially if the decision rule assigns asymmetric responsibilities to group members. Previous participation in laboratory experiments may miti- gate this.


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How to Instantly Tell If Someone is About to Make a Good Decision (Or Not)

How to Instantly Tell If Someone is About to Make a Good Decision (Or Not) | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Study finds intriguing link between decision-making and this subtle signal.
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Intuition en entreprise : une révolution en marche ?

Intuition en entreprise : une révolution en marche ? | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Le milieu des entreprises entretient avec l’intuition une relation forte et contrastée. Indispensable outil de décision pour les dirigeants, garant de rapidité et d’efficacité, ce mystérieux « sixi...
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The Army's New Decision-Making Model

Of the many lessons I learned after spending 13 years as a Navy SEAL, one critical takeaway is that the ideal solution does not exist. The perfect mission simply does not occur because change is constant and occurs at the most inopportune time, which means the moons of opportunity will just never fully align. Consider, for example, the raid on Osama bin Laden in 2011.
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Decision-making improved by just 15 minutes of meditation: study

Decision-making improved by just 15 minutes of meditation: study | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Research has found that just 15 minutes of mindful meditation can help people
make more rational decisions, suggesting a way to boost business performance
by improving employee health via corporate meditation programmes.
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Why Mindful Individuals Make Better Decisions

Why Mindful Individuals Make Better Decisions | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it

Mindfulness is practiced in board rooms from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. But just how much does it improve the quality of your decision-making?

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Six tips for taking complex decisions at work

Six tips for taking complex decisions at work | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Companies and individuals face various problems daily. Some of these problems are the direct consequences of our actions or reactions to the situations we face. When we fail to explore the nuances and complexity of a problem, our response is not as flexible and effective as it should be. Systems today are volatile, uncertain, complex… 
Philippe Vallat's insight:

A systemic (and human) view of decision making in a complex environment

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La décision dans un monde VICA (2/2)

La décision dans un monde VICA (2/2) | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Ce que le règlement militaire de l'Armée Suisse dit sur la prise de décision - et l'inadéquation de ces propos avec la réalité d'un monde VICA
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The Future of Decision Making: Less Intuition, More Evidence

Human intuition can be astonishingly good, especially after it’s improved by experience. Savvy poker players are so good at reading their opponents’ cards and bluffs that they seem to have x-ray vision. Firefighters can, under extreme duress, anticipate how flames will spread through a building. And nurses in neonatal ICUs can tell if a baby has […]
Philippe Vallat's insight:

This is an example of a bad article about intuition:

  • it does not define (properly) intuition
  • it goes from the premise, that every decision is a deduction from past data/experience


A true decision is a decision under uncertainty, otherwise it is a deduction.


Don't get missleaded!

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Leadership en zone d’incertitude: l’exemple des Forces Spéciales

Pour tirer pleinement parti des capacités très spécialisées de leurs membres, les forces spéciales ont développé un style de leadership s’éloignant de la relation chef-subalterne, pour se concentrer sur la relation entre le leader et son équipe.
Philippe Vallat's insight:

Citation: "A l’instar des commandos, les managers doivent abandonner l’illusion du contrôle pour assumer l’incertitude, accepter de lâcher prise et de faire confiance à leurs équipes, développer des stratégies d’adaptation, et apprendre à improviser en situation."

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Anne Landreat's curator insight, November 11, 12:48 PM
A l’instar des commandos, les managers doivent abandonner l’illusion du contrôle pour assumer l’incertitude, accepter de lâcher prise et de faire confiance à leurs équipes, développer des stratégies d’adaptation, et apprendre à improviser en situation.
3- Les exigences du leadership commandoDans une opération commando, la prise de décision engage la vie du groupe. le succès de l’équipe repose sur la performance collective, qui dépasse la somme des efforts de chacun. Mais rien ne peut se produire sans un chef préparé et respecté par les membres de son équipe. Animé d’une véritable culture stratégique, et d’une forte capacité de dialogue, le chef d’équipe est capable de prendre du recul y compris lorsqu’il est sous pression. A l’aise dans les situations ambigües, c’est un manager rompu à l’art du « décryptage » des signaux faibles précurseurs des menaces et des crises.

 

4- Les leçons de la culture commandoLa culture commando met l’accent sur la créativité et l’esprit d’innovation en situation de stress, ainsi que sur le leadership et la résolution de problèmes en situation d’incertitude.
En cela elle constitue une source d’inspiration et un exemple pour des managers confrontés à la pression à l’incertitude et à la crise.
Comme le souligne très justement Daniel Hervouët (*), l’expérience de l’exercice du leadership chez les commandos constitue une sorte d’élixir obtenu à haute pression. Ce qui a été mis au point dans des conditions plus dures peut être ensuite mis en œuvre dans des conditions normales, car les tests en ont validé le contenu.

 


Stéphane RENAUD's curator insight, November 12, 6:10 AM

En situation extrême ou dans le management quotidien, la confiance et l'intelligence collective sont le binôme de choc !

Rescooped by Philippe Vallat from .Manager l'Être , Être Manager
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Pressentiment : le corps messager

Pressentiment : le corps messager | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Savoir quelque chose juste avant que cela n'arrive... Non, ce n'est pas de la science fiction, mais un phénomène intuitif commun appelé pressentiment. Les neuroscientifiques lui ont consacré de nom...

Via Frédéric Brutier
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Are Women Better Decision Makers?

Are Women Better Decision Makers? | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it

Neuroscientists have uncovered evidence suggesting that, when the pressure is on, women bring unique strengths to decision making.

Philippe Vallat's insight:

In short: "Stressed women tended to make more advantageous decisions, looking for smaller, surer successes. Not so for the stressed men. The closer the timer got to zero, the more questionable the men’s decision making became, risking a lot for the slim chance of a big achievement. The men were also less aware that they had used a risky strategy."

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Apocalyptic Decision Making – Dealing with Uncertainty – Influencing and Problem Solving

Apocalyptic Decision Making – Dealing with Uncertainty – Influencing and Problem Solving | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
When confronted with uncertainty in decision making, we tend to focus more on what we know. Three things help us address it in decision making
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A clear business vision statement will guide your company's decision making.

A clear business vision statement will guide your company's decision making. | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
A compelling business vision statement will provide a clear and powerful image of your company's future.
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Jürgen Kanz's curator insight, November 14, 11:15 AM

The article describes the way how to define the highest level in Strategy & Tactic Trees (S&T) of TOC - Theory of Constraints. Somewhere above the Viable Vision

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A New Perspective on the Framing Effect

A New Perspective on the Framing Effect | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it

Our tendency to choose options that appear less valuable than alternative options (such as choosing to stick with our original choice in the Monty Hall Problem) is often cited as evidence for our irrationality. However, the view that we are irrational derives too from inconsistency in our preferences.

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Introduction to Cognitive Bias - YouTube

“ RT @alphaarchitect: Introduction to Cognitive Bias: http://t.co/pyNbXNyaqe via @YouTube”


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Decision Timing

Decision timing is a key factor in getting the most value from your decision making efforts. This presentation addresses some of the common decision traps, bia…
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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, August 9, 2:05 PM

Yes, timing is key point... not too much information, just enough... well, that's the difficulty...:-))) Good...

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Daniel Kahneman Explains The Machinery of Thought | Farnam Street

Daniel Kahneman Explains The Machinery of Thought | Farnam Street | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
Daniel Kahneman dissects the machinery of thought into two agents, system 1 and system two, which respectively produce fast and slow thinking.
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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, August 9, 2:07 PM

"One further limitation of System 1 is that it cannot be turned off..." Beside that it's useful...:-)))

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Behavioural Economics: From Anecdote to Action on Vimeo

When it comes to making decisions, the fact is we think much less than we think we think! Behavioural Economics has shown that our decisions are guided not by our plans or intentions, but by where we are, the people we’re with and the unconscious forces inside us. Summaries of Behavioural Economics offer a collection of delightful anecdotes, but can leave you wondering how on earth to use it. To make sense of it, join Orlando Wood as he talks through BrainJuicer’s Behavioural Model; learn why it’s so important to make buying your brand fun, fast and easy and how the behavioural sciences can inspire better research and marketing.


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How Your Decision Making Skills Can Make or Break You

How Your Decision Making Skills Can Make or Break You | Mindfull Decision Making | Scoop.it
The way you make decisions determines your career trajectory, and if you want to rise high, you must aim for a leader-like style. I always thought of myself as a decisive person. But after reading Julia Tang Peters’ book Pivot …Read »
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