This was the summary for my LinkedIn profile for quite some time, and it’s time to update. However, I don’t want to lose these thoughts forever to the delete button, so here it is:
Thinking sometimes seems to be a lost art. We live in a world in which the easiest, cheapest, fastest way is the consistent goal, and our ability to view other perspectives gets swallowed up into a frenzy of convenience and habit. How do we get people to stop and actually think on a deeper level about the choices they make, about the long-term ramifications of certain decisions?
My answer is one person at a time. I choose to start with myself. Now in my fifth semester teaching Principles of Management and Creative Leadership at the community college where I work, I find a necessity to challenge my students more, to get them to think “outside the box”, to give them opportunities to problem solve and develop their team skills. Many nights, I stare at the wall, thinking, researching what others do, and then something just hits me. Helping my students to become thinkers is reciprocal, as I continue to develop my own skills along the way.
I want to keep going with this idea. I seek the opportunity to be a part of a wide-reaching solution in stale thought processes. From my own experiences so far, I’ve realized that to think outside the box, we must first break out of it. How to do that on a societal level in a way that brings about positive change for all is the root of my cause.
I welcome your thoughts on this topic as well! How can we bring back the lost art of thinking?
2 thoughts on “Thinking – Do we even do this anymore?”
This is a key issue for any instructor of management or leadership. Students come to class with a premise that the instructor will identify what’s important in the course and emphasize the “correct” answers in lecture and look for them to be repeated on an exam. I have addressed this issue with both undergraduates and graduate students by using the case method, borrowed from law schools and in use by most business schools. In a case, a student is presented a scenario, set of facts and environmental givens. The key problem may or may not be identified. The students must act as managers: identify the problem, analyze data, ask questions, identify alternatives and pick a preferred course of action. There is no “right” answer. An approach I like in using this method is to divide the class into teams where one team does the case and presents an answer, the other team critiques their presentation. Every team presents and evaluates at least once during a term. The role of the instructor is facilitator and moderator (and ultimately, grader). Students like this approach because it simulates what managers do every day. It teaches them to use concepts to solve management problems, rather than simply repeating concepts back to the instructor on a test. In other words, they have to think like a manager, using what they have learned previously.
This type of class is high energy and frankly, a lot more fun to teach.
Thank you for the insight, Mike!
I use the case study technique as an individual assessment in my 100-level management course but haven’t really done much with it during class. I’ll have to work more of that into my Spring 2014 syllabus.
Any suggestions for where to find 100-level management case studies?
Thanks for the input!