Critical thinking is a process that implies the use of reasoning to make decisions in an informed and systematic manner. Important aspects of critical thinking refer to the identification, analysis, and solving of problems; within these aspects, analysis is essential for determining tradeoffs and contributing to making better decisions overall. Another component of critical thinking that can enhance the approach of determining tradeoffs refers to evaluation, which takes place when an individual gets an understanding of a subject and analyzes all possible alternatives for achieving the best objectives, as suggested by Hammong, Keeney, and Raiffa (2002) in Smart Choices. Based on the evaluation, it is easier to decide which goals should be prioritized and which should be discarded.
We will write a custom Essay on Critical Thinking in Business & Life Decision-Making specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The advantages of approaching tradeoffs through the suggested method (the Even Swap) are associated with a better analysis of possible alternatives for achieving the established objectives and their prioritization. Such a method is beneficial for its practical application to determine and make tradeoffs within the context of set objectives as well as the range of alternatives to them. Essentially, Mankins and Steele (2006) proposed a method for decision-makers to think about the value of each objective and come to a conclusion. The authors underlined the importance of integrating strategic planning in the process of decision-making to avoid issues that complicate the process overall. They found that businesses that think through about every implication of their actions are more likely to make effective strategic decisions compared to companies that only use the traditional model of planning (Mankins & Steele, 2006).
Rogers and Blenko (2006) identified four bottlenecks within the process of decision-making, such as “global versus local, center versus business unites, function versus function, and inside versus outside partners” (p. 52). Through exploring the mentioned bottlenecks, the authors explained how to make more efficient and informed decisions to achieve organizational goals. Making good decisions is a vital step for any business that wants to become successful; although, the bottlenecks can hinder this process by making it unclear what roles and responsibilities should be distributed among key decision-makers. Thus, an efficient division of roles and responsibilities can improve performance and avoid bottlenecks that hinder business effectiveness.
As mentioned by Davenport (2009) in the Harvard Business Review article “Make better decisions,” there should be a new landscape of decision-making that integrates such components as analytics, small-group processes, and automation. In my experience, the lack of automation has been a tremendous bottleneck in the decision-making process. For instance, when there is a problem that needs immediate resolution, managers spend too much time on unnecessary tasks such as sending out notifications or filing paperwork instead of focusing on the problem. Automation is a great solution to this bottleneck because it can provide decision-makers with more time to dedicate to analysis and evaluation of alternatives and determining tradeoffs. Another bottleneck in decision-making is associated with too many people participating in the process, which leads to the unclear distribution of roles and responsibilities as mentioned by Rogers and Blenko (2006). Making decisions is smaller groups with fewer people will allow for the clearer identification of roles and responsibilities as well as the better analysis and evaluation of multiple alternatives to agree. It is also important to note that small-group processes proposed by Davenport (2009) can eliminate premature convergence on decisions.
Davenport, T. (2009). Make better decisions. Harvard Business Review, 87(11), 117-123.
Hammond, J., Keeney, R., & Raiffa, H. (2002). Smart choices: A practical guide to making better life decisions. Portland, OR: Broadway Books.
Mankins, M., & Steele, R. (2006). Stop making plans; start making decisions. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 76-84.
Rogers, P., & Blenko, M. (2006). Who has the D? How clear decision roles enhance organizational performance. Harvard Business Review, 81(1), 52-61.