Intuition in Business

by Angela O’Connell and Pat Naylor


Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious.

Carol Gustav Jung

If you imagine that intuition is unreliable and not much practical use, here are some facts that might change your mind.

  • According to research by Mihalasky and Dean in America, 80 per cent of CEOs whose profits doubled over a five-year period were found to have above average precognition. Conversely, CEOs whose companies were losing money scored significantly below average.
  • Some 82 out of 93 Nobel Prize winners agreed that intuition played an important part in their creative and scientific discoveries.
  • The US company DuPont reduced their product development time from three years to three months by using intuitive thinking techniques.

We are all born intuitive, but many of us are encouraged to disregard this ability when making decisions or looking for a solution. However, intuition can be an invaluable faculty when there is/are

  • A high level of uncertainty
  • Little previous precedent
  • Few facts to go by
  • New trends of which you might have limited experience
  • Several plausible solutions
  • Pressure and only limited time in which to be right.

This topic will help you to learn how to grow your intuition, know when to trust it and encourage it in others.

By learning to develop and trust your intuition you can

  • Escape the analysis paralysis trap
  • Know when to trust someone
  • Employ the right person
  • Make a difficult decision with confidence
  • Nurture creativity in yourself and others
  • Identify why something is too good to be true
  • Know when to keep questioning
  • Understand why you ‘just click’ with someone.

Intuition is a valuable skill to employ in business and those that use theirs are often more creative and profitable than those who don’t. Intuition can be rediscovered in yourself and others and can be used as a starting point for decision making. Think of intuition being a muscle that can be developed with practice – after all, you would not attempt to run a marathon without some training and practice! However, if you are to reach a workable outcome, it is important to balance intuitive ideas with some rational analysis.

If you encourage your staff and anyone you work with to access their intuition you, your team and your organisation will benefit from a rich new source of thinking.