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B-schools can't teach intuition
Mukul Agrawal | November 15, 2005
B-schools provide an excellent foundation to learn analysis and problem-solving tools, and various others tried and tested techniques. But such knowledge does not guarantee a great solution or an idea.
This is where intuition comes in. But, although intuition is the basis for creative thinking, it does not evolve by itself; knowledge must first be digested and eventually emerge in the form of fresh, new ideas. I believe that intuition is the only path to new insights. And B-schools can't teach you that.
In an era where organisations and individuals are drowning in information, one of the biggest problems facing decision-makers today is that there are as many facts available to support a decision as there are against it. The danger here is that the more data people have, the more likely they are to underestimate the importance of intuition.
This process perpetuates conventional thinking and encourages a herd mentality, stifling intuition. Thus, to me, decision-making is more of any intuitive process than an analytical one, and no amount of market studies, focus groups and research reports can take that place.
Also, eventually all business decisions boil down to people situations. Only those leaders who have a finely tuned people sense and the knowledge and ability to use it properly can take their teams closer to the organisation's vision.
In the current business environment, where workforces are increasing and the need to attract, retain and manage employees becoming ever more important, such skills become even more relevant.Mukul Agrawal is managing director, Unisys Global Services India. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in 1981.