Webcast Recap & 3 Things a Company Must Do to Increase Critical Thinking

Judy Chartrand delivered an awesome webcast on Thursday through HR.com – How to Increase Critical Thinking in the Workplace – where she posed an excellent question to the group:

Do you have an established program to develop critical thinking in your organization?

A sobering 89% of folks said no, their company does not and 11% said their company does.

What does this mean? I could make the assumption that some companies don’t know what critical thinking is, why it’s so important and how to incorporate it into their development programs. I could also assume that some companies don’t see the importance, perhaps they don’t think cognitive skills can be taught.

As Judy pointed out – “we’ve learned that the brain is more powerful than we thought.” Sure, critical thinking takes practice. In fact Malcom Gladwell has said that expertise comes with time – 10 years or 10,000 hours – and practice.

As for the importance… a person’s ability to critical thinking predicts their:

  • problem solving skills
  • creativity
  • openness (meaning someone’s openness to feedback but also having an open-mind)
  • organization and planning
  • decision making
  • strategic thinking

The Executive Development Trends Report suggests that emerging leaders are lacking some of these skills. Specifically, Judy pointed out: strategic thinking, the ability to lead change, the ability to create vision & engage others, the ability to inspire, and the ability to understand the enterprise and how different parts work together.

So what can companies do to help increase critical thinking?

  1. embrace critical thinking It’s important to get management buy-in because the company culture has to accept and embrace critical thinking and the RED Model.
  2. evaluate the level of critical thinking It’s important to take a pulse and see where you are. The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is a gold-standard assessment that will help you do just that.
  3. support skill development One you talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk – invest in your employees and their development. This can be achieved on a number of levels with the Watson Glaser development report, Critical Thinking University, the AMA courses, a 2-day on site Critical Thinking Boot Camp or even custom coaching. If you don’t know where to begin check ThinkWatson.com for more information or contact a consultant.


If you missed the webcast and want to listen to the audio or review the slide deck – you can do so here.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva

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