- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

Critical Thinking self-test. A 10 point health check for your organization, and yourself

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?

  1. Doing, lots, too fast without thinking. High adrenaline, no sure solid outcomes.
  2. Doing, fast or slow, but sloppy, and sloppier.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. Working most of the time on single-track logic, deterministic views, one way, no options, and lots of ‘therefore thinking’ [1]. [2] Particularly when this is not recognised or even denied.
  10. 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.