AI01 Required Reading.pdf - CHAPTERFOUR 87 Insidethischapter StrategicThinking Imagine yourself as the NCOIC in midst of preparing your work center for

AI01 Required Reading.pdf - CHAPTERFOUR 87...

This preview shows page 1 out of 298 pages.

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 298 pages?

Unformatted text preview:  Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ CHAPTERFOUR:–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 87  Insidethischapter:  CognitiveTechniquesandSkillsof StrategicThinking Imagine yourself as the NCOIC in midst of preparing your work center for an operations or compliance inspection. You have been assigned there for a while and feel very comfortable with the way operations are being conducted. However, during an inspection preparation meeting with key players, a member brand new to the unit questions the way your section conducts business. He suggests several never-seen-before ideas that will completely alter the way your section does business and, if implemented, will undoubtedly improve efficiency. Are you willing and able to consider this “new guy’s” perspective and suggestions? Why is it that he came up with these revolutionary ideas and you did not? What cognitive techniques and skills did he use to envision and create such ideas? "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle  x CriticalThinking x CreativeThinking x InnovativeThinking x AdaptiveThinking x ReflectiveThinking x AnalyticalThinking x FutureThinking x Synthesis CriticalThinking:ACloserLook TheCriticalThinkingSubǦSkills x Investigate x CreateandDevelop x Communicate x Evaluate CharacteristicsoftheCritical Thinker CriticalThinkingHindrances ApproachesforEvaluating Information x ConsidertheSource x Faciones’sScoringRubric ThinkingDeeplyAboutLeadership ImpactonNCOEffectiveness 88 Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰  Upon completion of this chapter you should be able to: TERMINAL COGNITIVE OBJECTIVE: Comprehend strategic thinking concepts and their impact on NCO effectiveness. Terminal Cognitive Samples of Behavior: 1. Explain how strategic thinking impacts NCO effectiveness. 2. Give examples of strategic thinking’s impact on NCO effectiveness. 3. Predict the impact of strategic thinking on NCO effectiveness. AFFECTIVE OBJECTIVE: Value strategic thinking and how it enhances NCO, subordinate, unit, and mission effectiveness. Affective Samples of Behavior: 1. Actively participate in strategic thinking opportunities that develop critical, creative, future, adaptive, innovative, reflective, systems thinking, and synthesizing information, ideas, concepts, conclusions that impact NCO, subordinate, unit, and mission effectiveness. 2. Willingly accept that strategic thinking techniques are important to NCO, subordinate, unit, and mission effectiveness. 3. Develop a preference for using strategic thinking techniques to enhance NCO, unit, and mission effectiveness. 4. Commit to using strategic thinking techniques to enhance NCO, subordinate, unit, and mission effectiveness. Your cognition, or ability to think and learn, is vital to your success. Consider the following: Your skills and talents are the natural strengths you have, determination is the size of your dreams and imagination, effort is how much work you are willing to do, and cognitive ability refers to how well one utilizes the cognitive techniques and skills of critical, creative, future, adaptive, innovative, reflective, systems thought to compile various pieces of information, ideas, concepts, conclusions, etc. in new and different ways to reach desired results.   Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 89 Cognitive Techniques and Skills of Strategic Thinking Just because you have a sharp wit or belong to Mensa (an intellectual society that requires a high IQ to be a member) does not mean you are a proficient strategic thinker. There are geniuses that are renowned for their irrational beliefs and unreasonable opinions. Remember Dr. Ted Kaczynski (also known as the Unabomber)? He was a highly intellectual child prodigy! This chapter begins by examining the cognitive techniques and skills that support strategic thought (Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Innovative Thinking, Adaptive Thinking, Reflective Thinking, Analytical Thinking Future Thinking, and Systems Thinking, and Synthesis) and how these skills enhance NCO, organizational, and mission effectiveness and that desired state of success. Strategic thinking refers to the ability to take a long-term view and build a shared vision that clearly defines and expresses a future state. It requires the ability to demonstrate innovative and creative insights/solutions for guiding and directing organizations. Critical Thinking Critical thinking is part of the human understanding process and embodies “those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome...thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task.”5 Creative Thinking Creative thought unlocks the power of possibility by fostering new and innovative ideas or as Professor Guy Claxton puts it, is simply the skill of “coming up with a new idea when you need one.”6 Although many psychologists believe this skill originates during childhood and the awe of wonder, creative thought exists throughout all facets of life. It is the cognitive ability to imagine and innovate. Imagination is simply the capacity to conceive what is not — something that does not exist or may exist but cannot be perceived. It is the ability to conjure new realities and possibilities.7 Consider the creative thought by one of the world’s most renowned scientists and modern-day thinkers, Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein conducted thought experiments that enabled him to make leaps that other scientists of his time (even the great ones) could not. It wasn’t that Einstein had lots more determination or computational brainpower than others who came tantalizingly close to many of Einstein’s most famous insights.  90 Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰  The difference, according to biographer Walter Isaacson, was imagination. From the time Einstein was young, he practiced visualizing things in novel ways. What would it be like, he asked himself, if you could run alongside a wave of light? What if you were in an enclosed elevator accelerating up through space? By starting with such questions and playing with them, instead of accepting the “givens” of normal science, Einstein was able to take his already extraordinary mind and open it even more, and thus his theory of relativity was born.8 If imagination is the capacity to conceive of what is not, then creativity, in turn, is imagination applied: doing something, or making something, with that initial idea. However, not all acts of creativity are inherently innovative. Innovation comes when an act of creativity has somehow advanced the existing form.9 Innovative Thinking The world has relied on innovation and has benefited greatly by the innovative spirit. From the creation of the wheel and telephone to the automobile and the Internet, these revolutionary feats have propelled civilization to new and never-before imagined technological and procedural frontiers. The contributions of innovative thinkers throughout military history led to the competitive advantage and advancement of operations planning, advanced weaponry, and organizational efficiency; all of which support America’s premier fighting force. Innovative thinking from an organizational standpoint can be simplified using The Innovation Value Continuum (above). ¾ Efficiency Innovation focuses on identifying new ideas for improving what already exists. This approach requires minimal investment since the team is building on the past and only looking for small changes to what is currently being done. These innovations are lower-impact improvements or adaptations of an organization’s existing products, services, programs, or processes. The strategy for Efficiency Innovations is usually to cut costs, reduce cycle time, improve quality, offset a competitor’s move, or attract new customers. Typically, only small gains are realized. ¾ Evolutionary Innovation focuses on identifying ideas that represent something “distinctly new and improved.” An example of an Evolutionary Innovation is the introduction of automatic banking machines that transformed the way banks viewed their staffing needs and shifted banking from set hours to banking at any hour. Evolutionary Innovation requires the team to look more broadly than cost-savings initiatives and see the “bigger picture” of what is really needed in the organization.   Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 91 Instead of duplicating what already exists, the team must look for new ways to bring value to the organization and its customers through new and improved products, services, and processes which can change the way customers relate to the organization or the way work is processed within the organization. ¾ Revolutionary Innovation focuses on radically new and better ideas that may dismantle the existing structure of the organization. For example, McDonald’s fast-food approach changed the restaurant business. Disney’s unique characters and interactive theme parks changed the entertainment business. MP3 technology revolutionized the music sales industry. 10 Note: Innovative thinking is not to be confused with Chapter Six: Adaption-Innovation (A-I) Theory. A-I Theory pertains to the preferred cognitive thinking styles of adaptive and innovative to solve problems whereas here, we concentrate on the cognitive skills and techniques of adaptive and innovative thought. Adaptive Thinking The term adaptive thinking refers to the cognitive behavior one demonstrates when confronted by unanticipated circumstances during the execution of a planned activity (i.e. military operation). The skilled adaptive thinker is able to make adjustments within his or her plan to either exploit the advantage or minimize the damage of the unanticipated event by adapting to the conditions for a more successful outcome. Developing adaptive thinking does not occur in controlled, predictable, or calm reflective environments. Rather, it occurs in complex, challenging, and often stressful situations and requires deliberate practice and repetition. Deliberate practice differs from simply exercising a skill or ability in that deliberate practice involves: ¾ Repetition. Task performance occurs repetitively rather than at its naturally occurring frequency. A goal of deliberate practice is to develop habits that operate expertly and automatically. If appropriate situations occur relatively infrequently or are widely spaced apart while performing “as you fight” they will not readily become habitual. ¾ Focused feedback. Task performance is evaluated by the coach or learner during performance. There is a focus on the critical parts of how one does the task and constructive criticism is provided at regular intervals. ¾ Immediacy. After feedback is provided on task performance, there is an immediate repetition so that the task can be performed more in accordance with expert norms. ¾ Focusing on weaknesses. Deliberate practice can be tailored to the individual and focused on areas of weakness. During "train as you fight" performances the individual will avoid situations in which he knows he is weak, and rightly so as there is a desire to do one’s best.11  Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 92  Reflective Thinking Reflective thinking is part of strategic thought that pertains specifically to the processes of analyzing and making judgments about what we know, what we need to know, and how we bridge that gap. This cognitive skill is the active, persistent, and careful consideration of beliefs or supposed bodies of knowledge where one “steps back” and thinks about how he or she will solve a problem and how the selected strategy will enable goal achievement. Analytical Thinking When you think analytically, you are examining (thinking comprehensively) about the different parts or details of something in order to understand or explain it. However, we must realize that analytical thought is not simply left brain, logical activity, but a whole-brain, purposeful, and necessary approach for developing creative and innovative ideas. For instance, when analyzing a concept, object, or problem, you may be required to consider the following: x Cause and effect x Complexity x Similarities and differences x Possible solutions and alternatives x Associations and disconnections x Steps within a process x Relationships between all parts x Trends x Sequences of events x Examples One well-known method used to help in analytical thought include Asking the Five “W” questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) as well as What if? and So what? Another is called mind mapping. This is a diagram that begins with a central topic usually placed in the middle with sub-topics and relevant details “branching” from the topic. Here is one example that may assist you with your next vehicle purchase.   Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 93 Future Thinking Future thinking (sometimes referred to as futuring) is an intellectual process of peering into the future through creative visioning, speculation, brainstorming, and disciplined research with the intent of deflecting or controlling these events in a desired direction.12 It is the practice of visionaries, those who skillfully see desired goals and outcomes through their mind’s eye. Now futurists are not mythical fortune tellers or able to predict the future; future thinking assists those with vision to design alternative futures based on available data. They then incorporate creative and innovative thinking to solve existing social and technical problems.13 Systems Thinking In essence, systems thinking is a discipline of seeing the “whole,” recognizing patters and interrelationships and learning how to structure more effective, efficient decisions. The two systems of thinking include: System 1 – Reactive Thinking and System 2 – Reflective Thinking. ¾ System 1 (Reactive Thinking) relies heavily on situational cues, prominent memories, trial and error, and heuristic thinking (discovering solutions for self) to arrive quickly and confidently at judgments, particularly when situations are familiar and immediate action is required. ¾ System 2 (Reflective Thinking) is broad and informed problem-solving and deliberate decision making. It is useful for judgments in unfamiliar situations, for processing abstract concepts, and for deliberating when there is time for planning and more comprehensive consideration. Argument making is often part of the deliberation process when making System 2 decisions. The concept of systems thinking is covered comprehensively in the Continuous Improvement chapter. Synthesis Synthesis, a higher order of thinking that pertains to critical thinking and the ability to combine various pieces of information, ideas, concepts, conclusions, etc. in new and different ways. It requires the cognitive flexibly to determine alternatives and explore new methods to accomplishing a given task (i.e. problem solving). By utilizing the cognitive skills and techniques of critical, creative, innovative, adaptive, reflective, analytical, and future thinking; we are able to construct, compile, formulate, modify, discuss, and eliminate existing thoughts and ideas to construct, create, design, develop, propose, and test, new thoughts and ideas that are new, improved, and innovative. Keep in mind that the ability to synthesize thoughts and ideas relies heavily on one’s ability to think abstractly. Often referred to as “outside of the box thinking,” abstract thinking is the ability to conceptualize, generalize, or understand that encountered concepts can have multiple meanings.  94 Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰  Such thinkers may see patterns beyond what is considered obvious and are able to use various patterns, ideas, and clues to solve complex problems. Abstract thinking helps to solve problems in more creative and innovative ways. Take a moment to appreciate this abstract painting by the famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dali. Titled “The Paranoiac Visage,” this painting (circa 1935) is an example of double imaging. For some, it depicts a village. For others, it portrays a face. What did you see first? Can you see both images? Try this: Distance yourself from the picture as this allows you to take in all aspects of the painting’s attributes like the colors, shapes, shades, dimension, and contrast. You may even realize Dali’s point of view and intent for painting this masterpiece!   Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 95 Progress Check 1. Match the cognitive technique and skill to its respective definition. Note: All responses are only used once.  __ Adaptive Thinking a. Thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making __ Analytical Thinking b. It is the cognitive ability to imagine and innovate __ Creative Thinking c. Thinking that results in efficiency, evolutionary, and revolutionary improvements and advancements __ Critical Thinking d. Thinking one demonstrates when confronted by unanticipated circumstances during the execution of a planned activity (i.e. military operation __ Future Thinking e. Thinking that concentrates on what we know, what we need to know, and how we bridge that gap __ Innovative Thinking f. Thinking that requires generative thinking (divergent thinking): the development of ideas __ Synthesis g. The practice of visionaries, those who skillfully see desired goals and outcomes through their mind’s eye __ Reflective Thinking h. ability to combine or compile various pieces of information, ideas, concepts, conclusions, etc. in new and different ways 96 Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰  Critical Thinking: A Closer Look Of the cognitive skills and techniques noted in this chapter, critical thinking is the most dynamic and requires a deeper understanding. Before we delve deeper into critical thinking, take a moment to attempt the following mind-bender. Exercise: Connect the Dots Link all 9 dots using four straight lines or fewer, without lifting the pen and without tracing the same line more than once. Hint: To solve this puzzle you need to think “outside the box.”                “Ultimately, it is not we who define thinking; it is thinking that defines us.” - Carey, Foltz, & Allan It is the critical appraisal of beliefs, perspectives, and claims to arrive at well-reasoned judgments.14 Often considered consequential (far-reaching or momentous) thinking, critical thought is used to solve problems in practical, creative, or scientific ways; engaging in psychological reasoning; and adopting different perspectives when evaluating ideas or issues.15 We use critical thought when handling those tough topics and tasks, sampling different approaches to problems, evaluating strategies, and internalizing appropriate questions and concepts. Therefore, in order to think critically we may have to consider and adopt a new way of thinking. Consider the story of Dr. John Snow, a mid 19th-century British physician.   Šƒ’–‡” ‘—”ǣ–”ƒ–‡‰‹…Š‹‹‰ 97 Dr. Snow was faced with the arduous task to discover the reason for a massive cholera (a water-borne bacterial infection) outbreak that plagued neighborhoods in and around London. Using a map of the city, Dr. Snow plotted the addresses of all the known dead— around 500 people— as well as the location of all the local public water pumps. After much analysis, investigation, creativity, logical theory development, and discussions with fellow health professionals and water treatment specialists, Dr. Snow realized that the majority of the cholera-related deaths occurred near one particular water pump. He ordered the removal of the pump and within a few weeks, the epidemic ende...
View Full Document

  • Summer '17
  • SGM Taylor
  • Politics, critical thinker

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture