Competencies in Action: Assess the Present, Understand the Past, and Design for the Future - Meet the Moment, April 17, 2022
In The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking (2012), Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird share specific thinking routines and strategies Academic Leaders can use (and teach others to use) to help power up their thinking.
One example may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. All too frequently, the authors argue, we skip the critical step of considering what came before a dilemma that is presented to us. Similar to one of our competencies for Academic Leaders, assess the present, understand the past, and design for the future, Burger and Starbird propose a three-part process: Dilemma presented, analyze backwards, imagine forward. After a dilemma is presented, Burger and Starbird advocate that good thinkers must pause to wonder how “the issue at hand landed in front of you” before moving into problem-solving mode (they cleverly term this step “penning the prequel”). The next step, imagine forward, is to predict what’s coming next to “anchor” the current situation. Even if the conjecture is wrong, it begins the process of examining the present in context, which is key to building the future.
For more on the core messages from Burger and Starbird's book, watch this video:
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