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Do your leaders have a gap in critical thinking?

Closing this skills gap is an investment employers won't regret.

by Dave Osgood, Senior Partner

Study after study puts critical thinking skills in the “must-have” category for today’s workforce. Yet there is an increasing gap, in both the current leadership pipeline within organizations and for the incoming talent pool. Some recent headlines:

World Economic Forum - The Top 10 Skills Needed In 2020

SHRM – 2019 State Of The Workplace – Exploring The Skills Gap

Leadership Trends – A Gap In Critical Thinking Skills

How To Hire and Develop Critical Thinkers

Critical Thinking – A Big Gap For Millennials And A Big Win For Teams That Get It Right Critical Thinking – The Mother Of All Skills

Why Critical Thinking Matters More Than Ever In Your Business

What is critical thinking and why is it so important?


Critical thinking is the ability to think in an organized and rational manner to understand connections between ideas and/or facts. Critical thinking skills allow us to understand and address situations based on all available facts and information. Critical thinkers sort and organize facts, data and other information to define a problem, understand causes and develop effective solutions. Critical thinking allows decision making to be fact based; driven by logic and reasoning.


Critical thinking skills of incoming workers are slipping.


Freshman and seniors at 200 public colleges and universities across the U.S. take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results of the CLA+ test? At more than half those schools, between 2013 and 2017, at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument. This includes some of the most prestigious flagship universities.


Colleges and universities are doing little to address the problem, so businesses need to pick up the pieces and become forward thinking. Organizations must invest in helping employees learn to think.


Critical thinking skills among leaders are slipping, too.


Last week, LinkedIn released results from a 3,000 person employee and hiring manager survey. The goal: uncover the top skills employees most want their bosses to have.


The results?


Two of the top five skills were crucial critical thinking skills – Decisiveness and Problem Solving.


This is why critical thinking skills training must be a top priority in your talent development strategy. Where to start? Decision Focus.


Decision Focus® equips you with the essential tools to solve problems, make sound judgments, and plan ahead - faster and more effectively.


Amidst the constant drive for immediate results, people often struggle with applying a rational approach to problem solving and decision making. Without critical thinking, things can go wrong:


• Poor understanding of situations

• Wrong assumptions

• Opinions masquerading as facts

• Erroneous conclusions

• Time and money spent on the wrong actions

Decision Focus is a systematic process for problem solving and decision making that’s based on sound critical thinking principles.


In our unique workshop, participants learn and apply these tools to real situations, problems, and decisions they currently face. The impact of these skills for your organization? A culture of critical thinkers equipped to:

• Quickly size up complex situations and break down problems into workable pieces.

• Find the true root causes of problems and failures before investing in expensive actions.

• Develop tools for more fact-based judgements.

• Gather the right intelligence - so options can be properly evaluated.

• Consistently make the right decisions, especially when under extreme time pressure.

• Execute decisions and plans better by forecasting obstacles and proactively removing them before they occur.

“Decision Focus has helped our company establish a common method of analyzing situations, solving problems and making smart decisions. It allows us to focus on the real issues instead of interpreting everyone’s unique methods.”

- Vice President, Operations


Ready to put your thinking caps on? Schedule a demo to learn more, or take advantage of our special offer: Book your in-house Decision Focus class before December 31, 2019 and get 5 participants' tuition for free. Email help@focustools.com to schedule your session!