Car Wash - Spring 2015 - (Page 93)

MAKING BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS The Critical Thinking Advantage BY R I SA M I S H "Critical thinking is thinking about thinking while you're thinking, in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul, Chairman, National Center for Excellence in Critical Thinking AMONG THE THINGS that business owners leaders must consistently do in order to achieve and sustain competitive advantage is to make good decisions. The foundation of that good decision making is Critical Thinking. There are three keys to ensuring that you are critically thoughtful in your approach to making business decisions, including those that involve addressing problems or taking advantage of opportunities: 1. Understanding the context in which the situation arises; 2. Exercising "evidentiary judgment;" and 3. Considering counterargument before finalizing a decision. CRITICAL THINKING KEY NO. 1: UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT A desire to decide quickly, and to make the decision process efficient and consistent, sometimes leads us to treat past experiences as "binding precedent" for future actions. We say, "I've seen situations like this one before, so I know what I should do here." Or, "My business should/must do X, because X is what we have always done." Or, a management team member will say, "We can't do Y, because we tried Y before and it didn't work." Sometimes, what we've seen before is a very good predictor of what we should do now. And sometimes it isn't. Experience, as Ben Franklin said, can be a great teacher. However, experience can also mislead us if we fail to account for context differences between those past decisions and the challenge or opportunity we are currently facing. To help you and your business team make more context-savvy, critically thoughtful decisions, start with the following questions: * What do I think I already know about the situation at hand? How do I know it? * What beliefs and assumptions do I have about the situation (based on my prior experience, or otherwise)? * What possible biases do I have about this situation? * How might my past experience be different from the current situation? SPRING 2015 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG 93 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2015

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Trends in car wash design
Creativity & innovation: the myth of the lightning bolt
Better by design
Revamping the retail experience
The importance of purpose in pursuit of extraordinary outcomes
Efficient offices for car wash owners/ managers
Risk vs. Reward
Marketing with a purpose
Building a legacy
2014 Consumer Study
2014 Annual Report
Dealing with bad online reviews
Wash ideas with Perry Powell
How can you take your social media to the next level?
Building strong work teams helps your bottom line
The Apple way
Making better business decisions: the critical thinking advantage
Do you know your perfect customer?
10 tips for D.I.Y. recruiting
Businesses victimized by cyber crime: the loss may be theirs
Take a Tour
Unsung (car wash) hero
Blast from the Past
Ask Champ
Download It!
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Members

Car Wash - Spring 2015