Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 123

Op e rat i S e tt ings Institutional Agility Organizational climate that values critical thinking and innovation Multidimensional assessment program (evidence-based resourcing decisions) Individuals and teams with effective critical thinking skills Realistic Training Realistic operational scenarios Customized learning Participants required to reevaluate assumptions and reframe Faculty and cadre who model critical thinking i ngs Talent Optimization Person-organization fit Person-job fit Standards and qualifications that promote trust on S e tt Ins t i t u l na al ti o CRITICAL THINKING Verbal reasoning Argument analysis Thinking as hypothesis testing Operational scenarios and challenges Individual and team performance feedback Feedback loops Figure 3. An Integrated Training Model for Increasing Critical Thinking Skills teaching assignments have effective critical thinking skills and can model them for their students. Building upon the talent management program, the organization needs to develop a climate that values critical thinking and innovation. The critical thinking skills, coupled with a multidimensional organizational assessment program, enable members and leaders in the organization to detect when change is needed. The innovative mindset enables the organization to develop and implement creative ideas. The climate of critical thinking and innovation, together with the organizational assessment processes, generates institutional agility. Institutional agility is important to the organization’s ability to develop and continuously refine realistic training. Deployed soldiers and leaders are continually required to wrestle with complex situations and make decisions in ambiguous conditions. Training situations must require them to do the same. Too often, especially in classroom settings, Army training and education sessions are built upon complex scenarios but require students only to develop and brief a plan. To prepare soldiers, civilians, and leaders to thrive in ambiguity, the training must MILITARY REVIEW  November-December 2015 continue past planning and into execution. The training must require the students to avoid confirmation bias and remain open to new and contradictory information, to objectively assess the unfolding events, and to reevaluate their assumptions, inferences, and conclusions. Otherwise students likely will graduate with the erroneous notion that success in complex environments is the result of a perfect plan. Conclusion Although presented sequentially, the five keys to teaching critical thinking skills are interdependent. Together, they form an integrative model that illustrates a way to integrate the strategic objectives, lines of effort, and key tasks of the Army’s human dimension strategy. The specific critical thinking skills required by individuals and teams in other organizations could be, and probably will be, different from those required by the Human Terrain System’s sociocultural research teams. However, because this model is not restricted to specific jobs or tasks, it is relevant to any units. Successful implementation would depend on integrating the talent management, assessment, and training processes. 117