1. Intuition is putting the experience and knowledge available with an individual in the subconscious part of the brain into day to day decision making. Forecasting is presenting a picture of the future. While presenting a picture of the future one is normally presented with a number of scenarios and possibilities. Some are more likely than others and some less likely but all are possible. In forecasting there is no certainty. The attachment of probability to an outcome depends upon the facts, models, variables under consideration and the weight age given to these variables in the given situation and then in a major part to the experience and past knowledge of the variables and their interpretations available with the individual.
2. Intuition is the way in which we translate our experience into judgments and decisions. It is a set of hunches, impulses, insights, gut feelings, anticipation and judgments stemming from previous events in one’s life.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
3. We have been taught, and that these ideas have been reinforced in our minds, that more data or information coupled with better analysis based on latest models and tools leads on to better decision making. There is enough evidence to suggest that when people ignore intuition and base their decisions on purely empirical data and models the quality of decision suffers. In a survey a vast majority of the CEO’s candidly admitted that their decisions are based on intuition and justified later on by data and facts.
4. Herbert Simon introduced the concept of “bounded rationality” to explain why it is impossible to make any important decision by gathering and analyzing all the facts. There are too many facts and too many combinations of the facts. The more complex the decision and more variables it involves, the faster the complications add up thus making the process of decision making that much complex and cumbersome and with this goes up the level of uncertainty, thus making the probability of decision going wrong that much possible. Human mind is capable of only a limited amount of data storage, permutation and combinations and processing.
5. As diversity adds up it becomes increasing difficult to arrive at a decision. It is here that a pattern of situations which one has acquired over the years come to his rescue. It is these patterns, which stem from his experience base, help and guide him to come to rational decisions. There is of course a difference between using an informed and uninformed patterns. One needs to ignore and avoid using uninformed patterns by a deliberate process and attempts and use more and more of informed patterns. Informed patterns are those which are formed in the brain by actual experience and have been reinforced by their use, whereas uniformed patterns are those which are formed not by personal experience but by experience of others and are untested or are formed from single experience.
6. These patterns are nothing but repeated experiences that are formed subconsciously which are linked together in the form of a pattern in the brain. Therefore, it is possible to link to these patterns in the subconscious part of the brain by a deliberate effort to recognize the links that binds these patterns. When one is faced with a situation and a decision is required, it is these links and patterns that are activated and thus provide one to recognize a past pattern in the subconscious brain and thus the brain throws up a solution to the situation based on these past experiences in the form of gut feeling, hunches, insights and impulses. What is required by an individual is to recognize these hunches, insights thrown up by these patterns and deliberately use them to arrive at a reliable and prudent decision. By repeating these efforts over and over again one develops a skill to use to acquire and use them and thus make it a habit of using them in the decision making process. The more skill you develop, that much shorter will be the time taken to arrive at a decision.
7. As one gains more experience and skill one also develops the skill to develop more and more new form as well as modified and improved form of these patterns and sets in motion a form of chain reaction. This leads to an increase in the information data base and the decisions tend to be more and more realistic. When one encounters a new situation, then the brain throws up a number of similar situations and it is here the experience of the person in using these patterns comes into play and allows him to either to create a solution or to present him with a decision based on a number of patterns, thus allowing a person to improvise a solution. This also allows either the information base to increase or allows one to modify the old patterns to suit the new situation.
8. We form these patterns and links about everything and whatever can be perceived by our five senses. We make mental patterns or models about market, competition, persons, behavior, relationships and even physical things. Some of these are static model while others are dynamic model, like, markets, preferences, customers, atmosphere, etc. When we make a dynamic model, we generally tend to reduce the scale to a small manageable, easily comprehensible and understandable. This reduced scale patterns are neither wholly accurate not do they correspond completely to the reality. This is dependent upon our ability to comprehend the main variables and their relationship with other less important variables. Generally, a person uses main variables and tends to discard or even eliminate smaller variables. One tends to use simplicity in order to sacrifice some finer details.
9. These simplified patterns are essential since they simplify a large and complicated world into a simple basic form for us to understand. It stems from the fact that our brain can comprehend, see and make patterns and store a limited amount of information.