The more I hear from innovators (some successful, and others not so successful) on the importance of being able to make snap decisions based on intuition alone during critical stages of the innovation process, the more I’m convinced otherwise. Perhaps just the opposite may be true, and maybe what really matters in determining an innovation effort’s success is not so much intuition skills but a more systematic approach—something that resembles classic critical thinking skills.

I refer to a systematic approach to critical thinking made popular in the 1960s and ‘70s by researchers such as Charles Kepner and Benjamin Tregoe, to name a few. These classic methods, which link problem solving and decision-making, have been all but discarded by latter-day innovators. Detractors argue that these methods are too cumbersome and laborious and certainly not suited to the rapid demands required of innovators today.

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Author: Patrick Lefler