Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Decision Making

creativity & innovation critical thinking decision making high importance & short time constraint high importance and no time constraint low importance outcome problem finding red team red teaming strategy Jul 30, 2022

For clarity and context - when I get asked about decision making -

I break down this whole topic into four related domains:

  • Problem Finding
  • Problem Solving & Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Creativity & Innovation

Problem Finding - I think we often skip this stage and start solving 'a problem' without really finding the REAL problem first.

Critical Thinking - Developing the skills to be critical in how we think and analyze
Modeling - How we 'see' or understand the problem and all it's layers

Red Team - Ensuring that we are aware of the biases we have as we come to a solution

Decision Making - What is our process, the OODA loop

Creativity & Innovation - I separate these areas to distinguish problems (therefore solutions) we know about and problems (therefore new solutions) we don't know about

For DECISION MAKING specifically there's 2 distinct topics
- How we decide
- How we can decide

- How we decide
How We Decide is best described by looking at biases and emotion
How We Decide Under Pressure is best described by John Boyds OODA loop

- How We CAN Decide
How we can decide is best broken down by Importance / Time Constraint

Low Importance Outcome - Always use a simple heuristic (rule of thumb), a negative consequence is minimal and you save time & energy regardless

High Importance & Short Time Constraint - Use a simple heuristic (rule of thumb). Overthinking leads to false beliefs and undermines intuition and instinct, so with limited time always go with intuition and instinct.

High Importance and No Time Constraint -
- Source the actual real problem.
- Model the complete Problem
- Actively Remove Biases and Assumptions
- Propose Solutions & Decision Tree (If, then, else)
- Think through 2nd and 3rd order outcomes
- Decide on Strategy



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