Critical Thinking In Management

Agile critical thinking: how to cope with change, complexity, and the unexpected.This paper describes a new approach and practical tools that project leaders and teams can use to employ agile critical thinking to deal with issues they routinely face, which often result in churn, conflict, groupthink or stalled progress.Logic and reason are important but not everyone agrees on what's logical.

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There are stakeholders to be considered, often with competing agendas and priorities.

Corporate culture plays a big part in how problems are shaped, how much information is available and to whom, which data are trusted and which are discounted.

You use critical thinking whenever you make a decision, even the most mundane, such as deciding what to have for lunch.

Project management involves far more complexity, unknowns, and risks than what to have for lunch but the basic thought processes are the same.

The framework includes three iterative stages as depicted in Exhibit 1.

Assessing the situation incorporates tools that help you to deeply and accurately understand the context, stakeholders, risk, corporate culture, and other relevant aspects of the project.

Corporate leaders have put critical thinking at the top of the list of essential competencies needed by their workers to understand these challenges, explore opportunities, and make good decisions in this new competitive environment.

Traditional methods of teaching critical thinking in courses on problem solving and decision making give the impression that the process is linear: understanding the core problem, gathering and evaluating data, generating and weighing alternatives, and choosing the best one.

Agility is built into each stage prompted, for example, by new information coming to light or a change in the situation.

While deep understanding of a topic — learning for its own sake — is a worthy goal, the goal of critical thinking in an organization is about making a reasonable decision, given an accurate understanding of the situation, the data available, and the impact of the actions that will result.


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