Magazine article Training & Development Journal

Finding and Developing Intuitive Managers

Magazine article Training & Development Journal

Finding and Developing Intuitive Managers

Article excerpt

Finding and Developing Intuitive Managers

I have found that the most typical organizational setting is one in which executives know each other primarily by formal job title, responsibility, or years of experience within the organization. Seldom do they know each other in terms of specific brain skills and abilities except in the most casual way. For example, over the years one executive learns that another is a good "idea person."

The fact is, managers frequently are not clear on what their own brain skills are. Because of this situation, organizations often already have the intrapreneurial talent necessary to dramatically increase productivity, but they either don't know it or don't follow practices necessary to nurture it.

The necessary qualities

Research indicates that executives who test out highly intuitive on instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) have the kind of innovative problem solving talent organizations are searching for. Highly intuitive executives are particularly adept at

* seeing new possibilities in the marketplace that others do not see;

* supplying new, ingenious solutions to seemingly unsolvable management problems;

* dealing with and resolving complex issues where data are incomplete or unavailable in a timely manner;

* motivating colleagues to perform at peak levels.

Intuitive executives function best in a management environment where there are rapid change and crises and where limited time is available to make critical decisions. They are particularly adept at reaching productive decisions where

* there is a high level of uncertainty;

* there is little previous precedent;

* "facts" are limited;

* there are several plausible alternative solutions to choose from with good arguments for each;

* analytical data are of little use, such as when new trends are emerging;

* time is limited and there is pressure to be right.

One of the most effective steps that organizations, can take to help increase their productivity is to systematically implement an overall program designed to locate the existing intuitive talent they have, identify the type of intuitive talent they have, and then follow management practices designed to use and develop this talent for effective decision making.

Diagnostic testing

Whichever diagnostic testing instrument an organization uses to locate highly intuitive executives, it can expect several payoffs from engaging in the process. First, the organization will have a better idea of whom to assign to activities such as brainstorming sessions.

Secondly, the organization should establish a network of talent for future use. For example, highly intuitive executives usually don't know who their "like types" are in an organization. A diagnostic testing program will help them to identify other intuitives, allowing them to network together more effectively in the future.

Finally, testing will indicate to intuitive executives that the organization values their skills and talents, thereby reducing turnover rates. Research indicates that intuitive executives are more likely than average executives to leave an organization when they believe their talent is not appreciated.

Previous studies have determined that there are several types of intuitive executives, each with particular management strengths and limitations. Identifying the various types within an organization can help organizations with many activities ranging from more effective personnel placement to task assignments to organizational design and development. For example, an introvertive intuitive might be highly creative and innovative as a laboratory intrapreneur, but not very effective as a sales manager. Similarly, an extroverted intuitive might be just the hotshot an organization is looking for to head the national sales force, but less effective in settings requiring solitary work for long periods of time. …

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