There are always articles about businesses that illustrate successes coming from blind intuition. However, the reality is that in business it is rare that leaders let intuition have its way. Business is dictated by whatever means will lead to success. Sometimes what we think will get us there gets in the way of what we know and feel to be the best path (the latter of course, is what will actually lead to success). We always exalt "out of the box" thinkers, but in doing this, we still make "the box" the reference point.
I began my career by volunteering to be used as a test subject in intuition studies. I find that coming from a practical scientific background, as opposed to a mystical, spiritual one, has helped me present intuition in a way that is useful. In my career, which has now spanned 30 years, I have tried to demystify intuition and make it practical and applicable to achieving life's daily requirements, whether it is running multi-national corporation or a single person's life in a successful and fulfilling way.
Although I would love to have an hour to meditate every day it would preclude eating, bathing or grooming. Thus the instructions in How to Rule the World from Your Couch are all meant to be done while you are living your life. Whether it is restructuring the way we receive messages from others so that we can, for example, lose weight or ease depression, or learning how to predict and evaluate options so that we can respond to market changes, everything is best learned and integrated on the job or it remains simply a concept.
So how do we go beyond thinking beyond thinking "out of the box"? Yes, it is true that predicting the future is a useful skill, but nonetheless it is also not a flawless one. I make mistakes, just as anyone does. The companies I work for use the information and resources that they already have and then allow intuition to help view themselves, their decisions and their market from many different perspectives. Intuition is the clarity that accurately guides you to correct decision-making. Every success has an element of intuition involved, as we rarely have enough hard data or experience to make decisions correctly for future conditions that are unpredictable. When I first engage with a company I teach employees the basic skills of intuition. But the real work starts when I have unrelated departments be intuitives for each other. It is only then that I see solutions and ideas truly come from "out of the blue" as some might say.
I have heard the term "uncertain times" used too frequently in the last year. When were times certain? In business and life it is always essential to be pro-active, plastic, and prepared. We should never assume that things are "certain," because this will only set us up for a great fall. In business, and especially in an economic downturn, it is the intuitive company that thrives. Those actual "out of the box" ideas thrive in unsettled times. It's not worth waiting for miracles to happen, or things to get better. You must create the future on your own terms.
How to Rule the World from Your Couch was my answer to the companies that asked me for a linear guide to a non-linear process: intuition. Sun Tzu, the Chinese military sage said, "Every battle is won before it is ever fought," and I couldn't agree more (as you will see in the strategies in my book). An integrated, intuitive process allows each of us to be a well-prepared, successful leader and innovator in whatever it is we do. I have seen that intuitive processes, which have their own language, like precognition (telling to future), telepathy (mind reading or message sending), are best used when integrated into daily tasks within a family, community or company. Though its true that I would be out of work if companies did not hire me as a consultant, the reality is that within any community the opportunity to use one another as intuitive experts exists because intuition gets its best information when it is least influenced by other data or the subconscious.
I bet many of you would snicker if I said all successful people are intuitives (or the darker word "psychics") and that all great endeavors go forward successfully only with a knowledge of (conscious or unconscious) of the future. There are simply too many variables to make decisions correctly in a rapidly changing world without precognition. Unlike imagination or brainstorming, when invoking intuition one must pick a challenge or a question and allow your attention to guide you to the information, as opposed to creating the information.
Intuition is also requires that we draw on all members of the community in which we are a part of. Gathered data is oftentimes counter-intuitive and in so many instances, the janitor may actually be able to "intuit" more accurately how to successfully launch a product than a marketing department. Intuition is a set of skills that allows you to get the right answer in response to a question or situation and it doesn't always come from the top. It is the "flash of insight" that is not based on traditional data or experience that leads us to correct assumptions and right action. Anyone who is successful on a consistent basis at anything is intuitive.
Whether you are a huge corporation or an individual here are some simple starting points for getting your intuition to work:
-Ask yourself, if the world/people in this meeting/ the beautiful girl on the couch, could hear what I am thinking, how would they respond?
-What could I be thinking that is genuine for me that would get the response I desire? Try to make that shift.
-Give someone a card in an envelope with a specific question on it and ask that person to follow their attention and report anything they think, feel, or notice. Ask them questions that do not reveal the question you asked or lead them to answer in a certain way. Take notes.
-In the middle of a meeting gone wrong, "pretend" you can hop into the other person and experience what they are experiencing. Allow yourself to take a beat and find a way to present your goal in a way that satisfies what they want to experience.
How to Rule the World from Your Couch by Laura Day publishes on October 6th, 2009.