Critical Thinking—A Necessity for Business and Academic Evolution

Summary: Critical thinking involves so much more than just deep thinking to get the desired results. It equips businesses to not only solve problems but also prepare a better future for them. Even educational institutions are focusing on empowering students with critical thinking to become future innovators. Critical thinking applies to everything from simple life decisions to academic development to professional growth.

What comes to your mind when you think of critical thinking? Is it just deep thinking that most of the common resources explain or thorough, unbiased, and rational thinking that is much profound than raw intelligence? You see, even the way you answer this question and the depth of your thought when answering reflect your critical thinking ability. Yes, it’s true critical thinking is inclusive of making judgments based on assessment of factual evidence or analysis of facts, but there’s more to it. Critical thinking skills need to be learned and nurtured through practice, and researchers dare to say they are more important than your natural selective thinking.

Critical Thinking to Make Crucial Decisions at Workplace

It may be unfair to blame technology for ceaseless distraction from critical thinking. However, today’s world where people seek instant answers and quick satisfaction without feeling the need to think has in some sense lost the significance of critical thinking. For a matter of fact, critical thinking is going to become extremely critical to take those important business decisions in aggressively changing competitive environments and even in an era of technological evolution.

There are three things businesses can focus on to improve their critical thinking: thought diversification, logical reasoning, and questioning of assumptions. Researchers also suggest proactive steps that businesses can follow to get better at critical thinking.

  • Sharing thoughts or views with specialists from other industries, related or totally different. This could give birth to new ideas, innovations, or even unintended innovations
  • Challenging your own thinking—sometimes, you need to take a step back and evaluate your own ideas for their practicality, effectiveness, and long-term results
  • Introducing more knowledge performance indicators (KPIs) may increase your productivity, but at the cost of more pressure on employees. The combination of KPIs and out-of-the-box thinking can help achieve better results with more quality
  • Doing away with wishful thinking and focusing on reasoning and logical thinking. Secondly, managing emotions plays a crucial role in rational thinking
  • Take a stroll down the street or spend some time in the recreational area, no matter how busy you are. It creates an opportunity to compose yourself, contemplate, and reevaluate your decisions

Tomorrow’s Critical Thinkers Need Critical Thinking Today

In academics, critical thinking is given great significance to help students practice the skill right from a young age. At the 8th World Congress hosted by Education International in July 2019, it was said to be vital for democratic change in ASEAN countries, which of course belong to one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. The study of critical thinking is not only gradually being incorporated in the culture but also the curricula of a fair number of schools around the globe, if not all of them.

“We don’t teach standalone lessons on critical thinking. We introduce it at the beginning of the year, but then it just becomes part of the shared language. The teachers use it over and over again in the context of the lessons they teach,” said Two Rivers Public Charter School’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Jeff Heyck-Williams.

According to University of Houston’s Associate Professor of Science Education Sissy Wong, critical thinking is a key for preparing students to become tomorrow’s energy innovators. There has been a larger requirement of scientifically literate people in today’s time. Furthermore, Wong says students will become less prepared for leading policy and technical transformations needed to power an expanding world if they fail to scientifically understand energy, which requires critical thinking.

Note: Critical thinking includes reassessing conclusions when new data emerges, justifying claims using reasoning and evidence, closely examining implications, and taking into account multiple perspectives, said Foundation for Critical Thinking’s former Director of Research and Professional Development, late Richard Paul.