Think Smarter Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-04-14
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Critical thinking is a process that lets your brain do more for you as you make decisions and solve problems. Think Smarter presents a pragmatic set of tools to apply critical thinking techniques to everyday business issues. This application results in higher quality and faster problem solving, decision making and innovation. Think Smarter is filled with real world examples that demonstrate how the tools work in action, in addition to dozens of exercises the reader can use to practice the techniques. Since thinking is the foundation of everything that everyone does, the tools presented in Think Smarter are applicable across industries and functions, from individuals to senior executives.

Think Smarter includes:

  • A comprehensive critical thinking framework
  • Details of over 25 “tools” to think critically
  • Functions and business activities where critical thinking can be implemented
  • Real world examples of how each tool can be used in business and personal situations

Table of Contents




Section I: Introduction and the Framework for Critical Thinking

Chapter 1: What is Critical Thinking?

Benefits of Critical Thinking

Chapter 2: When to Use Critical Thinking

Chapter 3: The Framework and Tools




Section II: Clarity

Chapter 4: Empty Your Bucket

The Bucket

Getting Started with Emptying Your Bucket

Chapter 5: Inspection


Getting Started with Inspection

Chapter 6: Why?

Why Why?

Ask why to get to I don’t know

Getting Started with Why

Chapter 7: So What?

So What?

So What: Your Company or Product

YOUR So What?

Getting Started with So What

Chapter 8: Need

What is the Necessity?

Great Teams and Need

Need and Survival

Getting Started with Need

Chapter 9: Anticipatory Thinking

What’s Next?

Getting Started with Anticipatory Thinking

Chapter 10: What Else?

What Else Could This Be?

Getting Started with What Else

Chapter 11: The Ingredient Diagram

Ingredients of Your Headscratcher

Getting started with the Ingredient Diagram

Chapter 12: Vision

What is Your Vision?

Getting Started with Vision

Chapter 13: The Thinking Coach

The Role of a Thinking Coach

Why Be a Thinking Coach?

Examples of a Thinking Coach

If You Have the Experience, Why Not Communicate That?

Ten Rules of a Thinking Coach

Getting Started with Being a Thinking Coach

Section III: Conclusions

Chapter 14: Summary of Clarity

Clarity - Getting Clear about Your Headscratcher

Getting Started


Clarity - Not About Solving the Problem, but Generates Solutions

When Am I Done with Clarity?

Can I Use Critical Thinking by Myself and Not with a Group?

Chapter 15: It’s all about The Premise



It’s All About the Premise

Chapter 16: Facts

Facts are Absolute Truth

Use so what with facts

Fact or Not Fact

Chapter 17: Observations

Observations are Abundant

Chapter 18: Experiences

Your Experiences

So What?

Chapter 19: Beliefs

Beliefs - Your Value System

When Beliefs Are Different

Chapter 20: Assumptions

Assumptions are Key

Chapter 22: Credibility

How Credible is the Premise?

Credibility of Facts and Observations

Why Do People Lose Credibility?

Getting Started with Credibility

Chapter 23: Consistency

The Consistency of Your Premise Components

Getting Started with Consistency

Chapter 24: Triangular Thinking

Triangular Thinking: Estimating the Unknown

Getting Started with Triangular Thinking

Chapter 25: Change

The Premise and Change

Helping People Get Over Change

Getting Started with Change

Chapter 26: Influencing and Persuading

Influence and Persuasion

Using the Premise to Influence

Using the Premise to Persuade

Maybe you need to be persuaded?

Getting Started with Influencing and Persuading

Section: IV Conclusions and Innovation

Chapter 27: Outside-the-Box Thinking

Ask What If and What Other

Getting Started with Thinking Outside-the-Box

Chapter 28: Abductive Thinking

Abductive Thinking

Old Dog Thinking

Knowledge with No Experience

Old Dog Thinking Cures

Getting Started with Abductive Thinking

Chapter 29: Impossible Thinking

Thinking How to Accomplish the Impossible

Getting Started with Impossible Thinking

Exercises for Impossible Thinking

Chapter 30: Summary of Conclusions

Conclusions – Creating Solutions

Getting Started

Conclusions – Sorry, You’re Not Quite Done!

Section V: Decisions

Chapter 31: Who, Need and When

Whose Decision Is This, Anyway?

Need, Again!

When Does This Decision Need to Be Made?

Getting Started with Who,  Need and When

Chapter 32: Criteria

Without Criteria, Nothing Is Decided

Getting Started with Criteria

Chapter 33: Risk

Eleven Risk Factors

Using the Eleven Factor Model

What Is Too Risky?

Getting Started with Risk

Chapter 34: Summary of Decisions

Decisions – Taking Action

Getting Started

Are we done yet?

Chapter 35: Critical Thinking: Summary and Suggestions

Critical Thinking Summary

Critical Thinking – Let’s Begin

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