Whatever you are trying to achieve by philosophical enquiry, requires the techniques of critical thinking.

What has crisis management got to do with philosophy?

There are several ways in which you could answer that question and some of them might even be quite entertaining. But for us the key link is this; whatever you are trying to achieve by philosophical enquiry, you must use techniques of critical thinking. And the same goes for crisis management.

When you are dealing with complex, multi-dimensional problems that are ill-structured, volatile and ambiguous – you need critical thinking skills to help you work out what you understand about the situation and what you might do about it. Crisis management is the world beyond the playbook and beyond standard operating procedures.

Critical thinking skills are invaluable in this domain. Burt what are they and how do you learn and develop those skills? Start by reading our paper Critical Thinking in Crisis Management. It’s available here.

It will help you to:

  • Examine carefully everything about an issue that you think or assume to be true
  • Examine your logic for biases, flaws and untested assumptions
  • Be aware of your own motivations for believing in or preferring a particular explanation, interpretation or choice
  • Examine the implications of what you believe, and test those beliefs rigorously
  • Check with others, who may have a differently informed perspective – remembering that you do not know what you do not know
  • Check for complacency about your own level of knowledge
  • Accept that there will be uncertainties and limitations to your knowledge and understanding.

Critical thinking is a powerful tool which can get results and give you the confidence you need in crisis management. But is also a defence mechanism.  It defends you against errors in thought and action caused by natural biases in our perception, our default tendencies in thinking, the limitations to our knowledge and (maybe) our false beliefs.

It’s also a short paper and a quick read! We’ve licensed one of the world’s biggest providers of distance learning in management to use it in their courseware and it is one of the 'most-downloaded' documents from our website.