Why Critical Thinking Skills Are Essential for Success in Life and Business

This is the first blog in a series about the seven essential skills for success in life and in this competitive business environment:

The Camp BizSmart, Learn by Doing Model came from the founders’ experience developing executives at Fortune 500 companies like General Electric ( when Jack Welch was at the helm) and Texas Instruments. The unique, “Learn-Do-Coach-Act” curriculum links real world business projects to attaining valuable skills, insights and inspirations that will fuel a lifetime of achievement and success. After 12 years of teaching leading edge skills and abilities to thousands of young aspiring entrepreneurs coached by top notch Silicon Valley company executives Camp BizSmart researchers have found that seven key abilities make the difference between success and failure in the development of the generation of idea makers and world shakers. The first essential skill is:

Problem Solving & Critical Thinking
Analytical and innovative thinking skills are widely recognized as the great divide between high performance leaders and just average followers. Terrific problem solvers like former Apple CEO Steve Jobs are not afraid to take calculated risks and ask “why not”.

Why Critical Thinking and Healthy Skepticism Is Important to Developing Great Problem Solving Skills:

In Weekend Briefing by Kyle Westaway, he mentions, an article in Fatherly, written by Lizzie Francis , “How to raise a kid with Critical Thinking Skills, (but not an anxious mess).  Kyle, shares this summary:  “Focus on skepticism and critical thinking. Kids who are able to engage in critical thinking often think through the consequences of their actions before they do anything drastic. They’re also more willing to consider if the things they encounter might be unsafe or the things that they hear could even be incorrect, leading them to be independent thinkers who want to figure out the truth for themselves.”

At Camp BizSmart students are given business cases from successful companies, that challenge them to create product innovations to solve problems that exist in the world. They work in teams to brainstorm and to create their solution to the objectives and requirements of the business case.  Throughout the process they acquire and increase their critical thinking skills using the learn – do -coach -act learning model  Here is an illustration of the steps and some of the questions asked in the process of solving a problem:

Camp BizSmart is now in its 12th year of delivering hands-on project based, entrepreneur experiences that are designed specifically for young people 11-15 and 16-19 years of age. The Alumni Accelerator and Designathon workshops were created to address the demand from alumni for next level skill development and entrepreneurial experiences.

Strategic Partners are: Keiretsu Forum, Alliance of Chief Executives, Garage Technology Ventures, Alibaba, Microsoft and the Conrad Foundation. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs from leading companies are advisors, mentors and judges.

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