Business Strategy

Why Your Instincts Are A Valuable Decision-Making Data Point

trust your instincts

My company launched a one-of-a-kind mentorship network about 18 months ago and we’ve been encouraging our professional community to embrace it with mixed results.

Don’t get me wrong – with a network of almost 600 volunteer mentors and over 1500 mentorship sessions completed to date, we’re very proud of the service’s performance.  But we know our user community should be embracing the program more fully and more enthusiastically.

We’ve been adjusting the program to better adapt it to user needs.  The team running the program has struggled with some of the changes because they’re focused on running the program efficiently while overcoming numerous technical hurdles. I get it.

But then I look at the program’s performance to date and think, “What we’re doing isn’t getting us where we should be…”  Then the “what if’s” pop into my head.  What if we change “X,” or modify “Y”?   I can’t help it.   I’m an obsessive “tweak-er” in pursuit of scalability and optimized performance.

Much of the time, I dismiss the “what if’s,” rationalizing that we should give a program or service more of a chance…see it through…stick to the plan for another 3 months, another 6 months…

But with the New Year looming, I’ve resolved to trust my instincts more.  While my rationality might rebel against acting “unpredictably” or, worse yet, “whimsically, ” I plan to trust my instincts enough to…

  1. Pause
  2. Kick the tires (as in think a hunch through from different angles with the team)
  3. Try hard to kill it (as in rule it out)
  4. And, if the idea refuses to suffer an early demise…then embrace it and execute a course correction–quickly

If I’ve learned anything since launching my business, I’ve learned that it’s important to not be so locked in to an approach or idea that you can’t “hang a left” and go in a completely different direction.

Giving something “3 more months” to prove its merit just might be the difference between a market win and a loss…

About the Author

Elena Bajic is the founder and CEO of Ivy Exec, a selective online career network for top performers.