Marketing News South Africa

Critical thinking promotes organisational effectiveness

There’s a new wave in problem solving and organisational effectiveness about to break in South Africa, and those companies prepared to learn to control its power will ride it safely to shore while others risk being caught in the backwash. This is the opinion of Sandy Pullinger, MD of nFold and the organiser of a seminar on critical thinking taking place end of May 2007 in Johannesburg.

Pullinger explains: “Critical thinking is about making good judgements. And, in today’s highly competitive global markets, critical thinking is a vital business skill.”

For example, 85% of a consulting project fee is typically spent accumulating knowledge the company already possesses. A major snack manufacturer saved US$600 million by using critical thinking and creativity training. And, in another example, critical thinking and creativity training saved 25% of an international IT company’s meeting time while generating the same quality of output.

These success stories cannot be ignored. If your organisation is hampered by unresolved issues, a focus on symptoms, flawed brainstorming, inconsistent follow-through, functional silos, untapped input, costly workshops and limited vertical communication, it needs to reconsider its existing business and communication process and evaluate the difference a critical thinking approach could have on its future success,’ she said.

nFold’s inaugural seminar on Critical Thinking in Action is taking place on 28 - 29 May at the Benvenuto conference centre in Kelland, Johannesburg. It is aimed at all strategists, senior managers, internal company consultants, management consultants, trainers, operations directors, special projects managers, new business development managers, and product developers who rely on accurate interpretations of the business and social environments to make major decisions on a daily basis.

The objective of Critical Thinking in Action is to:

  • introduce you to critical thinking concepts, applications and tools
  • build your critical thinking skills
  • show you how to use the critical thinking approach as a successful business practice

Delegates should, at the end of the course, be able to resolve issues within their companies more quickly, reduce the cost of problems and problem solving, provide clarity, deal with controversial issues, understand implications, gain buy-in and participation, and improve communication.

The seminar is presented by Francois Bedeker and Brian Henry, who have 20 years’ experience in applying systems thinking and problem solving techniques. The keynote address will be delivered by Nicola Tyler, SA’s local expert in the field of lateral thinking.

Tyler was personally trained by Dr Edward de Bono in his creative and lateral thinking techniques, and is a master at applying these in real business situations. As CEO of The Business Results Group, Nicola has facilitated workshops across a variety of industries, including mining, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and professional services. Prior to starting Business Results Group, she was MD of Competitive Thinking Company, the official SA distributor of De Bono’s Thinking Methods. Tyler has worked with many of SA’s top blue chip companies in facilitating new thinking and strategies for business.

Bedeker, an industrial engineer with an M. Comm in business management, has spent many years in management consulting, specifically on projects covering business strategy and transformation, among others.

Henry has extensive experience in most aspects of the IT industry and management consultancy. He has a BSc degree, a diploma in business management and is a Fellow of London’s Business Continuity Institute. Its Keepgoing Critical Thinking Tool empowers staff to make an immediate contribution in the workplace.

The course costs R4104 inclusive of VAT, course material, lunch and refreshments and a full licence – worth more than R1000 – for Rationale, a software tool that helps people to improve reasoning abilities, develop stronger arguments, communicate complex cases, produce better documents and draw the right conclusions.

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