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Getting Intuition Into Your Innovation Act

The global economy has changed the way organizations do business and is reshaping the way savvy businesses think and do things. The speed of and need for innovation as a market driver and performance asset make innovation paramount as an organizational competency. In order to achieve this, the 21st century mind requires new capabilities, several of which extend to building more intuitive organizations.

Intuition has an important support role in innovation at two levels. The first is at the personal skill level, the second is at the level of collaborative intuition deployed at strategic points in the innovation process. It isn't enough to merely develop skills. What is needed is both skill development and strategic deployment of intuitive skills in ways that provide a measureable feedback loop to inform and improve the innovation process over time.

To introduce and sustain a realistic role and performance outcome for intuition capability your organization needs to ensure readiness on issues like honesty and integrity in the business environment, well-managed operations and positive relationships. Otherwise it's risky, you need creative space and trust to encourage and nourish intuition.

Building Intuitive Skills. How to develop and where to apply intuitive skills varies depending on the outcomes needed at different stages of innovation. Start with a common knowledge and practice base. Then add advanced refinements later. Build personal skills first, then extend them to collaborate processes when a certain level of personal mastery has been achieved.

Determine specific training and development programs for leaders, staff, and specific staff in a relevant curriculum with learning goals that relate to defined innovation and performance competencies. Basic experiential training can contain the following: intuitive awareness, bodily non-intellectual sensing processes, learning to use intuitive vision and insight, building creativity and intuition with self-reflective and meditative processes, learning how to translate intuitive information into valid uses, distinguishing between intuition and non-intuitive information and cues, establishing ground rules and environmental factors that support intuitive cognition, effective recognition and communication of issues, application of training to relevant innovation outcomes, and measures that link personal and group outcomes back into the development process.

Here are some of the applications for intuition at various stages of the innovation process.

Conceptual or Vision Stage: Intuition and intuitive cognition have a shared presence with imagination and creativity in the idea stage of innovation. While ideas generally lead to more ideas and more flexible thought processes, intuition can give a better sense of rightness or wrongness, place or fit for the idea.

Intuitive insight, on the other hand, can lead to utterly new conceptual ideas, well beyond the paradigm of expressed ideas. Very often, attention to the context of intuitive ideas can help define the next paradigm of operation.

Intuitive vision is more likely to be holistic, embracing deeper more elegant solutions and evolve a more whole vision that is more likely to engage the implementation team at the action stage.

Implementation Stage:
Intuition at this stage can produce the best results as a feedback loop to anticipate or predict outcomes and provide early identification of problems that need to be resolved so they don't bog down the process later. It can also be used to identify adaptive improvements.

Intuitive communication is an enabler of understanding among various team members, departments and leaders or management.

Business Intelligence:
This is the ideal process to enable intuitive cognition to play a feedback role in determining issues of responsiveness and discerning "unknown" market, environmental and timing factors. Ideally the intuitive feedback process will need to be defined in terms of information needs, collaboration process, and the individuals and departments to be involved.

Arupa Tesolin, owner of the training firm Intuita, is a consultant, speaker, seminar leader and author of The Intuita 3-Minute Solutions for Innovation, Intuition, Vision & Stress. Her numerous international publications on intuition in business have established her as a thought leader in this field. She is currently working on a new book entitled "Becoming An Intuitive Organization". Contact her at www.intuita.com, intuita@intuita.com or 905.271.7272.

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