“SENSING” USING EXPERIENCE AS A TOOL
As a businessperson you accumulate experience over years of business activity, that experience becomes your inventory of knowledge that allows you to see patterns in what is happening in business. Those patterns that occur in a business situation allow you to analyze the pattern and make decisions based on a very few indicators, rather than have to mentally process a complex or even chaotic set of inputs.
Maybe you have encountered businesspeople who want to analyze every problem with a complete due diligence check list that ends up looking like an encyclopedia. At that point they have so much information that they become frozen, unable to make a timely decision because they cannot mentally process all that information and make a decision.
The real value to accumulating experience is to have sufficient experience in many situations that allow you to spot one or two indicators fairly quickly and analyze the pattern to come up with a satisfactory course of action. This what is referred to as “SENSING”. In other words you can make a fast decision because you sense the right course of action while only seeing a small set of facts.
We have to add here that this kind of sensing we are talking about is not just a matter of experience. It also involves understanding what you were sensing. There’s a strong analytical component involving reading, research and applied intelligence. Without the background of knowledge and understanding that allows you to appreciate these “sensings”, you might undergo these experiences and miss everything they’re trying to offer you.
Maybe an analogy to football would help to describe Sensing in a very simplified way. Dan Marino was a great quarterback for the Miami Dolphins who could come out of the huddle and up to the line of scrimmage and look at one or two defensive players and sense if he had to call an audible change of play or not. He knew from experience that if certain players on this opponent’s defense were in certain positions what the defense was.
There are a lot of less successful quarterbacks who come out of the huddle and try to view the entire defense. With multiple sets and constant movement of the defense they only have one or two seconds to process a huge amount of information. With so much confusion they often make no decision, or the wrong decision, and disaster follows.