First, ask: “Is this an issue for analysis or intuition?”
Tom Davenport, professor at Babson College explains:
1. “If it’s a decision that’s important, RECURRING, and amendable to improvement, you should invest in gathering data, doing analysis, and examining failure factors.”
2. “If it’s a decision you will only make once, or if for some reason you CAN’T GET DATA or improve the decision-making process, you might as well go with your experience and intuition.”
Notice that Tom Davenport divides analysis and intuition. It seems to me that the obvious way to PLUS this is to…
3. Go to a few people who you consider to possess wise counsel. Seek their analysis and experience and even intuition.
It can make your life so much easier!
A few months ago there was a woman who was promising me all kinds of things regarding financial support. She was inexperienced in business and I wanted to help her get on her feet and poured a lot of time and TLC into helping her. In the middle of all this I was flying to Dallas with an experienced financial investor. I shared my story and he told me, “I have all kinds of flags going off about this woman, right now.” His advice? “Don’t get your heart wrapped around this.” His discerning, experience and intuition were all going off like early warning alarms. His counsel helped prepare me for what followed shortly afterward…she was unstable and probably delusional. My friend helped me consider, “what if I am wrong about her?”
I am pretty intuitive (read prophetic) about certain things. However, in this experience I learned something. You are not prophetic in an area where you are wanting something to happen. Your objectivity is skewed. Labor hard to get your will, your desire, your soul into a place of objectivity. The place where your hands are off the scales.
Nothing is more important than “people” choices. Who you let into your garden – into your home – and who you keep out, is a matter of utmost importance. One of the secrets to brilliant decision making in this area was given by the Apostle Paul. He said that decisions regarding deacons in the church should come with a period of testing….“And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” (1 Tim 3:10)
What did Paul have in mind?
Practically speaking, when you are thinking about putting a person in a key role, you need to allow time for a test. The simplest way to do this, is to factor in a delay in which you pray for God to show you anything you need to know about this person. It may not be a deal breaker, but it is implied that God will help you discover what you need to discover.
The same applies to any other big decision. If possible, factor in time sufficient to let what’s hidden come to the surface.