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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 15: Hallmarks of a good analytical mind

How do you spot a good analytical mind in a team member or in someone applying for a job? First, we have to define what we mean by analytical ability.

Many people think of analysis more or less in its original literal meaning of simply taking things to bits, like a child dismantling a toy. But in the conceptual realm of the mind it is much more than that – when analyzing you are looking for something, rather like dissecting a dead fish to inspect its backbone. What your intellectual quarry actually is will depend on the nature of the case, but you may, for example, be seeking to:

  • Establish the relationship of the parts to each other and to the whole.
  • Find the true cause or causes of the problem.
  • Identify ...

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