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Brookings Institution

Problem Solving Through Critical Thinking

Apr 6—7, 2020
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 1995
USD 997 per day

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Jumping to a solution before you define the right problem wastes time and resources and impedes your agency’s results. Olin Business School — part of Washington University in St. Louis — adapted its award-winning critical-thinking content to the government workplace. Master the components of critical thinking. Diagnose challenges correctly. And drive positive outcomes for the American people.

“Participants learn how to navigate problem solving, using a model that encourages them to pause and reflect on situations from multiple perspectives. The knowledge participants acquire discourages them from jumping to solutions and solving the wrong problems.” – Jackson Nickerson, Frahm Family Professor of Organization & Strategy, Olin Business School

OPM Competency: Problem Solving

MSL Credit Hours: 1

Program Benefits:

  • Discover how to comprehensively find, frame and formulate problems
  • Understand how to recognize biases and how they undermine decision making
  • Verify that you are solving the right problem
  • Develop explicit, structured-thinking processes
Management Concepts

Critical Thinking for Problem Solving

Next dates

Oct 21—23, 2019
USD 1079
Oct 30—Nov 1, 2019
3 days
Chicago, Illinois, United States
USD 1079
USD 359 per day
Nov 13—15, 2019
USD 1079
+20 more options


When workplace problems arise, an organization needs to think critically and develop solutions. Explore the nuances of critical thinking to challenge your own thinking, frame problems, and formulate plans. Starting with an opening exercise that stretches your creative thinking and finishing with an actionable plan, you’ll discover new problem-solving methods to apply to your workplace situations.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze qualities and patterns of effective critical thinkers
  • Use sound methods of framing problems and thinking critically to implement solutions
  • Overcome obstacles to critical thinking and problem solving
  • Use various tools to promote critical thinking for problem solving
  • Use creative thinking tools and methods to solve problems
  • Apply critical thinking strategies to solve work-related problems

Course Topics

The Critical Thinker

  • Defining Critical Thinking
  • Traits of Critical Thinkers
  • Metacognition
  • Promoting Thoughtful Attention

Framing the Problem

  • Identifying and Articulating Problems
  • Developing and Implementing Solutions
  • Obstacles to Solving Problems

Barriers to Critical Thinking

  • Common Critical Thinking Obstacles
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Overcoming Critical Thinking Breakdowns

Tools for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Active Listening
  • Action Learning
  • Conflict and Critical Thinking

Creative Thinking for Problem Solving

  • Defining Creative Thinking
  • Origins of Creative Thinking
  • Promoting Creative Thinking
  • Techniques for Breaking Thought Patterns

Problem-Solving Workshop

  • Guidelines for Applying Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking Culture

Who should attend

This course is intended for professionals who want to change thinking patterns to solve workplace problems.

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