Are critical thinkers really desired in organisations? I don't think so. Why? Because they do things that tend not to be appreciated, like:
- They question things.
- They don't just take information and accept it. They must challenge it to ensure it is not false or one-sided information.
- They are ready to dive deep into complex situations everyone avoids. By doing that, they often ruffle the feathers.
- They have problems with authority, especially authority given by a title. They respect expertise and valid data.
- They ask zillions of questions.
- They are creative and willing to challenge the status quo.
- They are observant and have excellent inferential skills enabling them to read between the lines and figure out dodgy things.
- They are aware of common thinking/logical fallacies and call them out.
- They recognise biases quickly because their analytical thinking makes them objective.
- They think independently and rarely fall for group thinking, often making them an outlier.
Aren't these considered nuances within organisations? Few of these things are always present when people get in trouble at work.
So when crafting your competency framework and adding "Critical Thinking" as one of the desired competencies, ask yourself, "Are we able to deal with them, or are they going to end up labelled as Not a Team Player?"