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Why Critical Thinking is the foundational skill required to survive today's rapid changes


Emotional Intelligence, & Decision Making 101
We can think…but can we think better?

  • Critical thinking is what intelligence tests fail to adequately measure [Stanovich, 2009]

  • Critical thinking is a better predictor of effective decision-making than IQ [The British Psychological Society]

  • Critical thinking is what converts intelligence into action. It’s the missing skill in SA where most people did not grow up with a C-suite parent [Chris Barker]

  • Critical thinking can be likened to mindfulness, with its focus on paying attention in a non-judgmental way, to experience the here and now [Vedanta]

  • The top 10 skills for 2025 are as follows (bold items are covered in our course):

    1. Analytical thinking and innovation

    2. Active learning and learning strategies

    3. Complex problem-solving

    4. Critical thinking and analysis

    5. Creativity, originality, and initiative

    6. Leadership and social influence

    7. Technology use, monitoring, and control

    8. Technology design and programming

    9. Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility

    10. Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
      Future of Jobs Report]

  • Analytical thinking and creative thinking remain the most important skills for workers in 2023. Analytical thinking is considered a core skill by more companies than any other skill and constitutes, on average, 9% of the core skills reported by companies. Creative thinking, another cognitive skill, ranks second, ahead of three self-efficacy skills – resilience, flexibility and agility; motivation and self-awareness; and curiosity and lifelong learning – in recognition of the importance of workers ability to adapt to disrupted workplaces [WEF, Future of Jobs report 2025]

Innovative Strategy 101

Our careers are progressing…but can we really step up?

  • The problems you encounter in life stem not so much from what you don't know, but from what you incorrectly believe you know for sure

  • We make 100s of decisions each day that are likely to be influenced by our critical thinking ability. At the very least, we would expect critical thinkers to avoid certain negative life outcomes…

  • …In both the United States and the Republic of Ireland, those with higher critical thinking scores experienced fewer negative life events, than those with lower critical thinking scores [Butler et al. 2012]

  • Critical thinking is the key to creative problem-solving in business. [Richard Branson]

  • In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, nor any skill that will be a guarantor of success. What will matter most is your ability to think critically, adapt, and communicate [Fareed Zakaria]

Smiling Lawyer in Lobby

Communication & teamwork 101

We can tell a story… but can we tell it better?

(optional day 2 only)

  • CT is commonly defined as a metacognitive process, consisting of a number of sub-skills (analysis, evaluation, and inference) and dispositions (trustful of reason, willing to change one’s position), that, when used appropriately, increases the chances of producing a logical solution to a problem or a valid conclusion to an argument [Dwyer, Hogan & Stewart, 2014]

  • “Consultants take our watches and tell us the time”. Yes, but we find the most correct watch, and prove it in a way that the CEO believes us

Problem Solving 101

SA's missing skill

  • Our schools have never been good at teaching Critical Thinking...we focus on memorisation.

  • Consulting firms typically hire Engineers and Actuaries, as these are the only two degrees that inherently require logical problem solving.

  • SA managers struggle to break through to executive roles, and we find (in our executive coaching) that invariably, Critical Thinking is the missing skill that opens this door for them.

  • Critical Thinking (the FutureForesight way) drives extreme creativity and innovation. Our course teaches how pure logic can be framed to guarantee creative solutions.

  • Corporates gain from a suite of employee skill improvements:

    • Problem solving covering all options

    • Better (and cogent) decision making

    • Adaptability and preparadness

    • Innovation and creativity

    • Effective communication

    • Risk anticipation and management

    • Structured mentorship abilities

Business Meeting
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