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Think smart, develop strategic intuition

By Jan Vincent O.Ong |

According to Duggan, the general requirements for achieving the creative spark are these: vicarious learning, presence of mind, the flash of insight, and resolution. For instance, if you are trying to reposition your product from adult market to teen market, your first steps should be to study teenage lifestyles, to examine the brands aimed at that market, and to leaf through trade magazines. You should then clear up your mind, set up a concrete goal, and pick up ideas from your research.


These elements of the process should provide you with a clear path to tread on and a more reliable creative spark. Ultimately, however, you need to have the resolve to stick to your entrepreneurial epiphany or flash of intuition—much like Steve Jobs who, it is said, first saw the personal computer in his head and then relentlessly worked to turn it into reality. It should be kept in mind, though, that strategic intuition is largely useful only for dealing with new and uncharted deadlocks; otherwise, it is wise to use expert intuition.



As an entrepreneur, in fact, you should be like a cat burglar faced with a time-dependent lock combination to a safe—you must not panic so you can clear your head for clues to be found in the surrounding area. You can remain calm because you know that the challenge before you has been faced by others before. You don’t reinvent the wheel. This, when confronted with a seemingly intractable business problem, you look for people or companies that have successfully dealt with stumbling blocks similar to yours.


Indeed, Duggan attributes the strategic intuition solution to Buddhist monks who first clear their mind through meditation and are then able to find breakthroughs to their day-to-day stumbling blocks with less effort. Leaders and HR practitioners can find the strategic intuition process useful for brainstorming meetings that require innovation. By giving employees a clear and brief agenda a day before the meeting, they can prep the employees for the process. During the meeting itself, they can then give the participants a sheet of paper where they can write down possible solutions and where they got them. This exercise should greatly help steer the brainstorming meeting towards a clear direction and an amalgamated answer.



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