Don’t Ignore your Gut: How Intuitive Intelligence Supports Strategy


What is wisdom? Many believe, as I do, that wisdom is a combination of knowledge, experience, and intuition. Yet, in many of the strategic planning sessions I lead, my clients rely solely on past experience, knowledge, market data, and other analytics to drive their strategic direction. In essence, a dominant left-brain approach to strategy. 

This has served most companies well. But times have changed. We are developing strategy in an era of converging crises — supply chain limitations, shifting economic landscape, climate change, global conflict, talent acquisition challenges, pandemics, and others yet to come. The future is uncertain and the days of developing a five-year strategy seem to be in the rear-view mirror. Most of my clients are now setting strategy in one-year increments, with the agility to change course with the speed of intelligence. 

Recently, I worked with a client who was at a crossroad in their strategic plan. They had to decide – either continue to battle through a market in an industry in crisis, or pivot to a new underdeveloped market and launch into blue water territory. The left brain was telling the CEO to stay on track and hope that the current market rebounds. But hope is not a strategy. Instead, the CEO’s gut was telling her to pivot and plan a real strategy to mitigate risk and launch into blue water. Sound familiar? 

What to do? I engaged in a conversation with the CEO explaining how neuroscience informs us that we have three brains. The cephalic brain (the head), the cardiac brain (the heart) and the enteric brain (the gut). The three brains comprise our intuition. In business, we are taught that the head brain prevails, the voice of analytical, logical, and linear thinking. We are also conditioned to ignore our gut. Why? Did Einstein, Jobs, or Salk ignore their intuition? Thank goodness they did not. They changed the world in their respective fields. 

So, the inquiry with my CEO was to balance intuition with her knowledge and experience. This CEO has launched seven companies. Some have been phenomenal successes, and other’s failures. Surely there has been much knowledge and experience gained and this leads to a level of intuition not to be ignored! 

Yes, that gut feeling may be terrifying and can certainly defy head brain reasoning. But listen closely, maybe your heart and gut know may a path the head does not. 

For more information on Liberty’s National Human Capital Management Practice Group, please reach out to Clint Tripodi, Senior Vice President (National Human Capital Management Practice Leader), The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers. 

Learn More About Liberty's Human Capital Management Practice Leader

Clint Tripodi has 25+ years of success in HR & Operations consulting with 450+ global high-tech companies.

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