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Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking Application

Carlos R. Ponce

University of Phoenix

Derek C. Osborne

MGT / 350 Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making

December 7, 2006

Critical Thinking Application

Applying critical thinking as a strategy for decision making requires the learning of the proper application processes to take the most assertive and sounds decisions in any given situation or as a mean to achieve a goal or objective. Thinking is the primal process the individual need in order to live in the day-to-day or better yet in a second-by-second basis. Training and education in the skills of problem solving and critical thinking skills (Martin, S.) will play a mayor role in our path through the University of Phoenix as we prepare ourselves for the future. The thinking process is basically applied in all actions we perform as human beings. By thinking we communicate our ideas, our desires, and our needs. By thinking we receive information, ideas, and data to be processed. Thinking requires the visualization and the perception of all possible angles of any given situation. Perception takes a significant position in the thinking process. In order to think or analyze a situation we need to somehow process all the available information as means of available data to be scrutinized and analyzed to take a final step towards taking a decision. Minute information that individuals perceive as non important can have critical relevance in a decision making process. Personal Barriers can influence the way we take decisions, because of different background each of us as individuals are raised. These unique barriers can prevent and have an effect in a making a sound and clear decision. Enculturation as a barrier plays an important role in decision making as well. Depending in the circle of influence each individual has been raised (school, religion, geographical position) become obstacles for a clear and sound decision making. The personal experience described in this particular situation, relates to the process of preparing an annual strategic plan for a department I was managing in a manufacturing plant in Juarez. The operational strategic plan for this company was prepared after the annual financial statements cycle closed at the end of the year. The process required the collection of historical, forecasted and actual data as part of the processing information for the strategic planning. Strategic planning involves the gathering of data to define objectives and develop strategies to reach those objectives by reviewing the progress with the use of scorecard in a monthly basis. The preparation of a strategic plan employs several methods involving thorough analysis of data, schedules and special events that need to be considered in order to plan for possible deviations or gaps in the information fluctuations that need to be considered in order to be as assertive as possible with the proposed key objectives. The aftermath of this process will help the financial forecast of a company to be as close to reality as possible. The analytical approach of this process, in preparing a strategic plan involves relentless application of critical



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