Just about every job description contains the phrase or a phrase similar to, “creative problem solving,” because every job requires the ability to identify issues and develop solutions.
What is less well established is that problem solving requires critical analysis. Critical analysis requires several skills, such as:
- Pattern recognition
- Identification of weaknesses in a framework or environment
- Consistently seeking and implementing improvements
Pattern recognition is a skill that takes all the various parts of a whole and examines them. Large systems may have many patterns, but the skill is in identifying where a pattern breaks down. Being able to pinpoint the exact spot at which the pattern fails, saves time, money, and effort.
In the same way, being able to identify weak points in an environment can also lead to a tangible, positive impact on the environment. Weak points may not be where a pattern breaks. Examples of a weak point include an unnecessary step in a process or a manager who does not delegate tasks appropriately.
Employees who demonstrate critical analysis are constantly looking for ways to improve. These improvements may be streamlining a process or implementing an initiative that promotes a positive work culture.
Employees at every level should be able to detail a situation or task they were responsible for and how they used critical analysis to achieve a positive result. Stating this in a concise, positive way can help during personnel reviews and in job interviews.