Before I launch into a discussion of this subject, I need to set some working definitions for intuition, discernment, and futurecasting. I like intuition researcher Gary Klein’s definition of intuition as “the way we translate our experience into action.” Discernment, as I use it here, is the ability to grasp and understand what is difficult to know completely and with certainty. Futurecasting is the active imagining of a desired future- a look at the potential future, not the predicted future (forecasting).
Intuition is built on three cornerstones: perceived cues hidden from others, mental models of what causes what to happen, and patterns revealed through the lens of our experience. Our skill of discernment, born from our love of learning and curiosity, is used to pick up on the subtle cues provided by our environment, cues that signal an event is very likely or not so likely to occur. This is a learned skill, developed through focused observation.
As we experience a wide range of events and use focused observation, we gain a richer understanding of what causes what to happen- and we begin to build a mental model of how these observed systems work. When we’ve gained enough experience learning, doing, making mistakes, and repeating this cycle of learning, patterns are revealed, patterns that give us deeper understanding of how things work, and allow us to tune our mental models. Our skill at discernment facilitates the transfer of the revealed patterns to refine our mental models.
Most of us have a desired future for our organizations, an end state we prefer over any other. For many of us, it is nothing more than a wish or hazy dream. For a few of us, it is our destiny. The difference between your dream and your destiny is action- specifically action produced by your experience.
We have the power to create the future for our organizations by envisioning the desired future and taking the actions required to get us there- as an organization. Look at the future state you want to have and ask, “For us to get here, what did we have to do?”
The synergy of intuition and discernment can get your organization there.
For more information on how we can help create the future for your organization, visit Provocative Insights.