Critical thinking: A must in today's workplace
Mark Twain once said, "I never let schooling interfere with my education."
But even Mark Twain would never downplay the Three R's. They have always been the traditional building blocks of academic and professional success.
Reading, writing, and arithmetic – the Three R's – are still essential in achieving success in life and business.
But now the Four C's, particularly critical thinking, are becoming increasingly important to success in the workplace.
The American Management Association (AMA) did a Four C's survey in 2012. They asked over 750 managers and other executives about the importance of the four skills in their organization. Let`s find out what they found.
10 Highlights of the AMA survey
1. Four Cs described
The AMA defined the Four C's as critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration and creativity.
• Critical thinking – along with problem solving — is necessary for making good decisions.
• Effective communication in writing and speaking are necessary for you to clearly express your point of view.
• Collaboration is necessary for working effectively with others with different points of view.
• Creativity and innovation are at the heart of personal and business growth and productivity.
2. Four C's as priorities
Over 70% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that communication skills, critical thinking, and collaboration were priorities in the next one to three years.
These skills were essential for employee development, top talent management and succession planning. Creativity came in fourth place mentioned by just under 70% of respondents.
3. Four C's in annual assessment
Respondents agreed or strongly agreed that
- collaboration (77%),
- communication skills (75%),
- critical thinking (69%}, and
- creativity (54%)
were used to assess the skills and competencies of employees.
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4. Four C's used when hiring
Close to 70% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Four Cs are used to assess the skills and competencies when hiring new people.
5. Four C's ever more important
Seventy-five percent of the respondents said that Four C's will become more important in the the next three to five years.
6. Four C's: reasons for importance
Respondents said that the Four Cs are somewhat important or most important for these four reasons:
- pace of change (92%)
- global competition (86%)
- nature of work (78%)
- organizational structure (67%)
7. Four C's: importance for growing the business
The respondents reported the Four Cs are somewhat important or most important in helping to grow the business in this order.
1. critical thinking (97%)
2. communication skills (96%)
3. collaboration (93%)
4. creativity (92%)
8. Four Cs: employee rating
Respondents said that their employees were either above-average or of the highest ability for the Four Cs in this order.
1. critical thinking (51%)
2. collaboration (48%)
3. creativity (39%)
4. communication skills (38%)
9. Four C's: experienced workers versus recent graduates
Respondents said that experienced workers were either above-average or of highest ability (56%) compared to recent graduates (36%).
10. Four C's: training and development
On the other hand, respondents said that students were somewhat easy or very easy to train or develop the Four Cs (49%) compared to experienced workers (27%).
Look for my next post coming soon - Critical thinking: A Critical Skill