Don't trust your gut
Harvard Business Review
Making high-stakes business decisions has always been hard. But in recent decades, it's become tougher than ever. The choices facing managers and the data requiring analysis have multiplied even as the time for analyzing them has shrunk. One simple decision-making tool, human intuition, seems to offer a reliable alternative to painstaking fact gathering and analysis. Encouraged by scientific research on intuition, top managers feel increasingly confident that, when faced with complicated
... , they can just trust their gut. The trust in intuition is understandable. But it's also dangerous. Intuition has its place in decision making--you should not ignore your instincts any more than you should ignore your conscience--but anyone who thinks that intuition is a substitute for reason is indulging in a romantic delusion. Detached from rigorous analysis, intuition is a fickle and undependable guide. And while some have argued that intuition becomes more valuable in highly complex and changeable environments, the opposite is actually true. The more options you have to evaluate, the more data you have to weigh, and the more unprecedented the challenges you face, the less you should rely on instinct and the more on reason and analysis. So how do you analyze more in less time? The answer may lie in technology. Powerful new decision-support tools can help executives quickly sort through vast numbers of alternatives and pick the best ones. When combined with the experience, insight, and analytical skills of a good management team, these tools offer companies a way to make consistently sound and rational choices even in the face of bewildering complexity--a capability that intuition will never match.