O'Reilly logo

Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

5 Inspection

A great way to start getting clear after emptying your bucket is to engage in some inspection. This is simply the act of determining what all the words in a given headscratcher mean and ensuring all the parties involved in solving it are operating according to these same definitions. This simple technique can generate some amazing discussions when a group of people gets together to define words such as better, faster, or quality.

Here's a simple example: Have you ever had a passenger in your car while looking for a space in a parking lot? While you're scanning for a space, you're also watching out for people walking and other drivers dashing through the lot. Your passenger shouts out, “There's a spot over there!” Now you either have to take your eyes off where you are driving to look where your passenger is pointing or have to ask, “Where is ‘there’?” It would have been much more efficient if your passenger had said, “There's a spot one row over to the right and four or five cars ahead of you.” Although these words take more time to say than “over there,” they are much clearer, and the result will be a faster understanding of the situation—and a parked car.

Here's a common business example: we need to improve the quality of our services. Just about every company we work with has this goal. Let's take a closer look at this statement:

  • We: Who are we? Your group? Your department? Everyone in your company? Does that include your partners, vendors, and suppliers—or perhaps ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required