Are you thinking type or feeling? Analytical or intuitive?
There are studies, there are tests, there’s a whole body of work on personality types dividing people into types. Most of us have heard of this, but if you haven’t, and you’re curious, you could find out more with this google search. It’s about the work of Carl Jung, the Myers Briggs tests, etc. There are more factors than just this one division, but this division — thinking vs. feeling, analytical vs. intuitive — is interesting to me.
I’ve had a career focused on business planning, metrics, market research, and business analysis. That started for me with a couple of years at business school, during which I discovered that I love numbers, and patterns, and programming. So I’d expect to be classified as a heavy thinking and analytical type.
But no, in fact, I’m not. It turns out that over the last 15 years I’ve done the testing four times and I come out fairly heavy on the intuitive side.
What’s up with that? I asked myself that the other day. Of course I ruled out all the possibilities related to something wrong with me, or defective in any way; I like me.
I ended up thinking that this might be the ideal: take an intuitive person and teach analysis and numbers, and you’ll get somebody who does the analysis, likes it, uses it, but doesn’t really believe it just because it’s analysis. There’s constant tempering with common sense and skepticism. Show the charts, give me the analysis, and then I’ll digest and come back with an educated guess.
Balance is better. Teach intuitive people analysis and teach the analytical people how to take long deep breaths and let the damn numbers percolate for a while in their subconscious. Best of both worlds.
Or at least, that’s what I hope.
2 thoughts on “Make My Business Analysis Intuitive, Please.”
Interesting take, Tim. I’ve run into the same situation over the years in the “marketing strategy” field. “Strategy” is the perfect term around which to discuss intuition vs. analytics because it so often requires both.
I’ve found more success in trying to train myself to straddle both sides and to adapt my approach depending upon the specific situation (P.S. – I’d call myself an “intuitive” too). The “BAD” approach (best available data) is popular in the business world for a reason.
Rarely will everything be crystal clear. There is almost always some level of intuition or extrapolation involved in decision making. The sooner a business person gets comfortable with that and realizes the need to wear multiple hats, the more successful he or she will be.
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