If any of these are a good picture of your organization, you need to put ‘critical thinking’ into the water supply. Or a more practical alternative. Doing nothing is not serious (and very uncritical)
Test yourself, your organization. Do any of these apply?
- Doing, lots, too fast without thinking. High adrenaline, no sure solid outcomes.
- Doing, fast or slow, but sloppy, and sloppier.
- Having strong ‘logical archetypes’ dominating airtime. Translation: the organization has pervasive ways of thinking and ‘logic’ that act as sacred cows, nobody dares to touch. (Example: A six month developing of The Strategic Plan dictates short term actions. In the last 10 years, no Strategic Plan has ever been achieved. Every year the cycle is repeated).
- Repeating mistakes, which comes from either not learning or not unlearning fast. ‘Lessons learnt’ is a meeting of folks ticking a box, with a reference to a Harvard Business Review Article.
- Putting a premium value on intuitiveness, agility, entrepreneurial spirit and speed, in a way that uncritically suggests that these are by definition great, no matter what, before one has even attempted to define what each concept really means.
- There is an ever-increasing desire for an extra supply of information on anything, even when the extra information never tends to change the course of things.
- Mistaking correlation with causality. Routinely assume that if B follows A, A is the cause of B (try this with ‘great sales’ follows ‘intensive sales training’, but no mention of the competitors screwing up their product launch).
- Banking too much on group discussions, group decisions, group accountability, and group thinking, at the expense of individual reflection. (By proxy: your Outlook calendar is full until February 2020).
- Working most of the time on single-track logic, deterministic views, one way, no options, and lots of ‘therefore thinking’. Particularly when this is not recognised or even denied.
- People equate ‘critical thinking’ with ‘common sense’. A variant: people say ‘ we are doing this already (critical thinking) all the time’.
If you recognise one of them, dig deeper. Two, is becoming serious. Three, explore your doctor options. Four, Houston you have a problem. Five or over, you need to stop and seriously look for ways to put that ‘critical thinking’ into the water supply. If ten out of ten, you are living in a mental cuckooland, an artificial reality and, at a high health risk. If you are successful, you are successful despite yourself.
PS. Critical Thinking can be taught, in the same way that your body can be re-shaped by going to a gym on a regular basis.