Developing Creative and Critical Thinkers
ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This article presents a definition of strategic thinking and then focuses on the two key antecedents of strategic thinking-creative and critical thinking-and presents the Army War College approach to educating students in these skills. Strategic thinking is the ability to make a creative and holistic synthesis of key factors affecting an organization and its environment in order to obtain sustainable competitive advantage and long-term success. Strategic thinking meshes anticipated requirements with future organizational capabilities to ensure the organization wins in the future. Examples of failures in strategic thinking abound. They include the recent failures of U.S. auto companies to understand the key factors facing their industry. Of greater significance is our own failure of strategic thinking in the formulation and acceptance of the many pre-war assumptions about Iraq. The core elements of strategic thinking are the ability to think creatively and critically about national security issues. We believe research in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and decision making can and should inform the Armys calculus for developing strategic-thinking skills.
- Administration and Management
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics