It is obvious to me after reading the book that Keith Richards also has high analytic intellect. Mr. Richards spent thousands of hours studying all the great blues artists and rock virtuosos and integrated this knowledge into his musical compositions. He even kept a diary of the responses of each audience to each new musical riff introduced by the Stones for future adjustments. In other words, he was collecting and analyzing market research information. Thomas Stanley, Lessons Learned from Keith Richard’s Life.
It is not just about “market research” but paying attention as we do things and noting how they turn out. It is about digging through the data that exists (technical, managerial) and finding out how it relates to what we see, touch and feel in the project.
Once we have this, a feel for this at the gut level, then our insights and decisions are better grounded so that things that never seem to work in the past (e.g., finishing a project on time) now succeed.
For more details see Why Being Objective Is Hard But How To Succeed Anyway
Helping us to get insight into the world, without getting lost in our data or analysis, is why we want to work at paying attention. We do have to keep some kind of record, because experience and studies have shown that no matter how smart we are or how good our memory seems to be, the complexity of our day and non trivial projects will easily exceed our ability to just remember how things went today, let alone how things went yesterday.
Compare with Inexperience can be our greatest asset
What aspect of your project have you paid extra attention to lately?