My big question is, “Do we focus too much on the nuts and bolts of tactics and not develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through reading, writing, speaking and other hallmarks of educational courses?”
Organizations know they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines (training, education, and experience). But most focus more on compliance and technology in place of a broader academic background that includes reading, writing, and speaking.
I played a small part in a recent class for newly promoted officers at our fire department where “critical thinking and problem-solving skills through reading books, in-class presentations and other hallmarks of academic courses” made a noticeable difference in officer development in our organization (kudos to Captain Mike Ellis). I witnessed thought-provoking questions and real debate that led to better learning.
In his book, Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism
Tony Kern makes this point: “Get off the recurrent training cycle by embracing “growth-based” development of knowledge skills and abilities that exceed job expectations.”
Our ambiguous and complex world demands a new mindset – one that can keep up and think on its feet!
Read, learn, lead. It will make a difference!
What is your organization doing to help members develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills? How can you help make this happen?