Lecture Management (2nd edition) – Chapter 3: Critical thinking for managers

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MANAGEMENT SECOND EDITION Chapter 3 Critical Thinking for Managers Learning Objectives  Illustrate the importance of critical thinking for today’s managers  Demonstrate the significance of critical thinking skills in a job interview  Explore the consequences of critical thinking backgrounds  Explain how managers use a systems approach to critical thinking to achieve results  Outline the eight most common systems archetypes that managers can expect to encounter Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. How Managers Apply Critical Thinking to Make a Difference  Critical thinking is the ability to diagnose situations and predict patterns of behaviors  Critical thinking subscribes to the learning domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy  Critical thinking is fundamental to managers when it comes to making good, quick, decisions Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Demonstrate the significance of critical thinking skills within a job interview  Critical Thinking Questions asked during Real Interviews • “If you were to win £1m what would you do with the money?” • “What do you think is the most useful function in Excel?” • “What makes you happy about work on a Friday evening?” • “What is it about this job you would least look forward to?” Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Demonstrate the significance of critical thinking skills within a job interview  Critical thinking can be learned and can help you become a better • • • • Analyzer Problem-solver Interpreter Decision-maker Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Critical Thinking Breakdowns  Figuring out how you feel about critical thinking before you practice it is a good way of building: • • • • Awareness of level of curiosity Awareness of open-mindedness Willingness to consider your views Ability to face your own biases Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Critical Thinking Breakdowns  Practice Critical Thinking skills by: • • • • Thinking about your thoughts Analyzing challenging issues Identify and free your mind from irrational fears Understand real versus imagined constraints Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Critical Thinking Breakdowns  The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (HCTA) model: • • • encourages students to acquire critical thinking skills and understand the structure of an argument or problem, and it promotes an awareness of how we use reasoning to reach outcomes. comprised of 25 everyday scenarios; students are asked to respond to both open-ended and forced choice questions questions are designed to test decision-making and problem-solving skills, the ability to spot faulty thinking, the capacity to find differences between conclusions and assumptions, and the ability to understand how language used in everyday life influences thinking Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. How managers use a systems approach to critical thinking to achieve results  Systems Approach• allows managers to fully visualize the “interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something • involves using the elements of critical thinking such as analyzing, explaining, evaluating, interpreting etc. to see the bigger picture. Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. How managers use a systems approach to critical thinking to achieve results  Systems Thinking• popularized as a practical tool for managers in Peter Senge’s seminal text The Fifth Discipline • by learning to see an organization as a whole “system,” or a set of interrelated elements rather than a number of separate parts, managers are better able to understand the underlying structure and apply the principles of systems theory to address existing issues and prevent those issues from reoccurring in the future Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The eight most common systems archetypes that managers can expect to encounter  Balancing loop• a reactionary force that attempts to move a current state to a desired state through some level of action  Reinforcing loop• a reactionary force, where an action produces a result that causes more of the same action, resulting in either a condition of growth or decline. Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The eight most common systems archetypes that managers can expect to encounter  Senge’s Eight Archetypes• Senge classifies these complex problems into eight predictable patterns or models called systems archetypes. Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (p. 68)  System archetypes • Common patterns of complex problems that managers encounter  1. Limits to growth • An internal or external force restricts the ability to expand a service or product offering • Growth process comes up against a balancing process Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  2. Shifting the burden • Managers use short-term fixes that over the long-term worsen the situation due to unwanted side effects • Underlying problem seems too time-consuming, difficult, or costly to address fully • Similar to “Fixes that Fail” Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  3. Eroding goals • A shifting the burden concept where a short-term solution is put in place, leading to the erosion of a long-term goal • Accept goal-slipping process and allow performance standards to lower • Corrective action is not taken Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  4. Escalation • Competing interests eventually take irrational actions against one another, resulting in a lose-lose situation • Aggressive competition leads to “one-upmanship” • Can be avoided if managers look for ways for both parties to achieve their goals Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  5. Success to the successful • Two activities compete for the same resources • One activity becomes more successful, depriving the other of support and resources • Key is to strike a balance between the two activities Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  6. Tragedy of the commons • Use of a common limited resource purely for one’s own gain without concern for the resource’s availability • Multiple efforts compete for the same resources, where self-interest overrides a collective solution • Limited common resources eventually are diminished or eradicated altogether Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  7. Fixes that fail • Reliance on a “quick fix” solves problem in the short term, but does not solve the problem over the long term • Longer-lasting effects derived from solutions focused on the long term Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Common Systems Patterns (cont.)  8. Growth and underinvestment • Conserving resources can lead to underinvestment with consequent slide in performance • Companies that under invest remain in their current state, leading to stagnation and unfulfilled goals • Underinvestment is just as risky as overinvestment Copyright ©2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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