Tech Leadership, In So Many Words … #6 Ideas

Andrew Weaver
August 4, 2023

“The leader’s job isn’t to have all the ideas.
It’s to make sure all the ideas are heard and that the best one wins”

– Chris Hawker

There used to be an old fashioned, transactional notion of leadership
that all good ideas need to come down from the top.

Wow – what a monumental waste of the wider talent available in an organisation.

That’s why creating an environment where critical thinking and the circulation of ideas are both encouraged and supported, can provide organisations with a significant competitive advantage.

And it’s also why when moving into a leadership position
your role needs to switch from individual problem-solver
to an enabler of collaboration between individuals and teams 

How to build critical thinking skills in your team?

The ability to think critically is often identified by executives as one of the most important areas to consider within their teams and should certainly be a key criteria with any new hires

Are they?

  • Curious
  • Seeing connections between different pieces of information
  • Open-minded and capable of listening
  • Self-reflective
  • Naturally creative
  • Self-confident in presenting conclusions and making decisions

Improving an employee’s ability to think critically also means encouraging them to develop the suite of soft skills that will help improve their impact in these areas. 

Because it requires a healthy combination of interpersonal skills and cognitive intelligence. 

And it needs a psychologically safe environment around them that helps to build the confidence needed for ideas to emerge, especially when failure is a distinct possibility.

So as a leader it’s your job to create that space and provide that support.

To ensure the introvert as well as the extrovert gets heard so that you optimise all the talent at your disposal and that despite our brains being wired differently, that everyone feels they can get involved and impart their knowledge.

Because with so many changes in the workplace, almost everyone in the teams needs to be a critical thinker. 

Building that environment which encourages critical thinking skills will not only help you and your organisation to tap into the wider talent at your disposal but, will also improve your retention rate as individuals within your team feel more empowered and engaged.

Want to find out more about CTO Academy and our Technology Leadership Courses, including lectures that look at Critical Thinking and New Ideas

Visit the CTO Academy Website and our executive leadership course, The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders winning rave reviews from global technology leaders.

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