The Intuitive Leader

23 01 2013

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.   Henri Poincare

Intuition is a powerful key-element to use in leading people. We are all people with feelings, when things are going well or wrong our body will tell us. Intuition is a talent we need to nurture every day.

In todays world, people are used to think in linear, logical, obvious ways about problems and possible solutions. Intuitive intelligence  opens up for new ways to think and understand, and may lead to enhance our capacity to achieve innovative solutions.

Through his book:”The Intuitive Compass”, Francis P. Cholle illustrates how we can develop intuitive intelligence to navigate the natural tension that exists between reason and instinct.

Cholle describes the four tenets of intuitive intelligence: , thinking holistically, thinking paradoxically, noticing the unusual and leading by influence. “ By engaging in each, we can enrich our experience and understanding of personal and business issues that arise, and when we use all four, our capacity for innovation can grow tremendously”.

If we want to succeed in todays business world, leaders need to innovate, be open to embrace change and create new business approaches. Cholle; “Creativity is not linear. To get to what is new and revelatory, we have to tap into the wisdom of our subconscious, be present, pay attention to clues, and then react”.

The author makes us aware the need to feel and listen to what the body try to tell us based on our instinct, reason and playfulness.

Let us take a closer look on how Cholle describes the four tenets of intuitive intelligence.

Thinking holistically can lead us to gain new perspectives and gives us the opportunity to learn new things from this approach. “Holistic means that the totality of a system is more important then the sum of its parts”.

Thinking paradoxically, leads us to think out of the box by embracing new situations, and new ideas, the attitude is both open and critical, as candid as it is discriminating, which is the only way to enter uncharted territories and conceptualize new ideas. Cholle;”So we need to open our minds to the paradoxical logic of the unconscious to reach beyond common ideas and beliefs, which is exactly the meaning of the word paradox”.

Instead of using our logical understanding of a situation it requires our other form of intelligence at work, like insights from dreams or myths.

Noticing the unusual is the third tenet and includes paying attention and use our senses. Cholle explains; “We can pay attention outwardly by seeing what’s around us or we can pay attention inwardly by feeling what’s inside us. We can choose to receive information in two ways, one of them is what makes logical sense, the other one is paying attention beyond the logical sense of what we can contemplate.

The last and fourth tenet is, leading by influence. This is about letting go of control and instead allow the creative process to blossom. Cholle; “Although conventional wisdom regarding leadership is about aligning objectives, strategies, and people, leadership by  influence recognizes that dissonance and tension, ambiguity and complexity, chaos and the unknown are equally important and necessary aspects of business. This is why this type of leadership cannot seek control: chaos cannot be controlled, and complexity makes it hard to determine the outcome of one’s strategy, so influence is more effective than control”.

Because creativity is an high rated business skill in a complex global economy, a key element of this new way of leadership is mandatory to innovate, motivate, change, reinvent and make an organization successful. Cholle makes us aware that if you want people to be receptive, agile, autonomous, proactive and creative in their approach, you need to influence them more than trying to control them.

Creativity can be a challenge but most of all an important tool to make success in todays world of business.

A research done by neuroscience has revealed three key facts that may trigger and change the way we think about and approach creativity:

– Instinct plays a leading role in complex decision making.

– Eighty percent of our grey matter is dedicated to non conscious  thought.

– Imaginative play is one of the most direct means of activating our creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Cholle explain’s us that these three discoveries opens up opportunities for creativity, progress and efficiency, but it depends up on embracing the instinctual and unconscious aspects of our mind and the randomness and chaos of life.

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.  Tom Lehrer

This quote makes us aware of all the possibilities people in all kind of situations are capable off doing. It just depends up on how far we would like to go. Play is magical and is a channel for innovation and ideas in organizations.

The National Institute for Play defines play as; “a state of being that is intensely pleasurable. It energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens, renews a natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities”.

When using play as a key component in companies, it opens up new doors for positive thinking and creative imagination.

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out more about play and what’s in it. Cholle tells us that the key ingredient in play is engagement; “engagement within your own mind, with another person, or with an object”.

He say that people loose track of time when they are truly and deeply engaged in play. People stop thinking about whether their paycheck is bigger today then yesterday. You also form close and near relationship with your playmates, “they withstand discomfort and inconvenience, and more often than you might imagine, they create magic”.

Because of the importance of play and the positive outcome organizations can gain from it, CEO’s across a range of industries has opened their doors to creativity and see it as a key driver for their company to succeed and grow.

Cholle makes us aware that play enables us to develop our cognitive abilities, and it also gives us balance into our lives: “playing fosters the agility and creativity that are key to our business success”. Play let us discover and enable us to influence the very powerful part of ourselves.

What’s better, a poetic intuition or an intellectual work ? I think they complement each other”   Manuel Puig

Written by Inger Lise E Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

https://inger-lise.net/page/2/


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