Paper Example on Thriving on Checklists: Balancing Critical Thinking and Creativity

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1001 Words
Date:  2023-02-12

Critical thought and creativity can coexist in organizations that thrive on checklists, standing operating procedures; and the use of standardized tactics, techniques, and procedures. These can be made possible in an organization whereby the leader possesses creative leadership skills and critical thinking abilities. Creativity is associated with the generation of out of the box ideas, while critical thinking involves the use of particular skillset to judging creative ideas. A plan is said to be creative when its goal is to introduce a new insight of information and creates a new understanding level to those receiving it (Baumgartner, 2019).

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Understanding creativity and practicing diversity creates a firm foundation to the team and not just the leader. The military team leader is, therefore expected to understand creativity and its facilitation process deeply. Most importantly, the leader should practice diversity, a commonly ignored principal. Diversity is the core foundation of creativity. A team with a variety of cultural backgrounds and ethnic ideas creates an even greater room for critical thinking and creativity. Diversification allows for the exchange of different experiences by different minds brought in unison to bring up innovative ideas. Identification of strong and weak points while upholding the trust. A team leader is expected to be well acquainted with both the strong and weak areas of team players. This particular skillset enables the leader to maximize the team's effectiveness. Individuals might be vulnerable in one area and secure in another, therefore, allowing the leader to correct the distribution of resources and skills according to one's expertise. Micromanagement in the military is a significant hindrance to creative leadership and should, therefore, could be avoided. Most micromanagers are believed to lack trust in their team members and always want to be the decision-makers. A trustworthy leader will provide clear guidance and resources to the team but let members achieve the set goal in their professional way. Trial and error have been proven to be a promising approach and creates room for the exchange of small ideas.

Accepting failure and encouraging debate. Even though mistakes are a great hindrance to progress, especially in the military field, they also contribute to success. Given today's renowned successful militiamen, failures and mishaps were a major inspiration. The leader should, therefore, offer strong support whenever people fail and encourage them to keep trying harder without giving up. Another effective measure is having sessions of sharing failure stories so that it can be experiential learning for each team player. Debate encouragement for a diverse team helps promote respect for ideas and enabling viewing of ideas from different perspectives. Healthy debates within the military will also promote positive criticism amongst members instead of waiting for customers to critique on the given results. Prior criticism helps in the preparation of the anticipated comments and possible flaws that can be worked on before the final work is rolled out. Championing realistic ideas. For creativity to be viewed successful in a leader, realistic and practical ideas should be advocated by the leader. Team ideas that are advocated by the leader have a higher chance of being realized and put to actual practice. It is imperative that the leader also clearly demonstrates belief in the team and their ideas. The team will feel the sense of leadership devotion not to the leader but the team wholly.

Logical and critical thinking in the military is such an important and essential tool. Military leaders should be equipped with strategic leadership skills because the environment in which they exist is strategically volatile and uncertain. Critical thinking goes hand in hand with strategic leadership since it helps the leader be aware of the posed challenges of the environment. The leader is, therefore, possible to confidently simplify complex environmental situations and clarify areas of vagueness. Critical thinking, according to Schwab and Starbuck (2016), is said to be the master of strategic military leadership. He defines critical thinking as the self-directed thinking that makes ones thinking more explicit and more defensible. For a leader to develop critical thinking, there are eight essential elements to be considered. A critical thinker military person makes it a priority to assess the intention behind their actions and thinking. The intent for thoughts should be in line with the set goals, the team's values, and desired results. There should be an important purpose overcoming all false intentions. Critical questioning is an essential aspect of critical thinking and can be employed in three different means: using critical questions continuously, interrelating essential queries, and asking and answering essential questions at a precise time. A critical thinker must be able to recognize a primary problem, evaluate how to answer a question at the required time correctly, and solving the right issue in the required way. Information is generally in plenty of use in the military, and a critical thinking leader should carefully determine vital information and its quality. The information should link the entire organization. Perception is perceived as the most powerful element of critical thinking. Without usage and comprehension of concepts, it is almost not possible to understand the changing environmental world. Conceptual thinking opens room for different viewing of ideas and new information provided. Interpretation involves the conscious ability of the mind to draw inference-based conclusions. Interpretation, however, can be true or false. Correct understanding, interpretation, and application of good judgment and possible assumptions need practice.


In conclusion therefore, we have noted the important aspects with regard to creativity and rewards initiatives in the culture of military line of command. They include understanding of creativity, accepting failure and creating a constructive debate around it, logical and critical thinking, however the list is not exhaustive. These elements of creativity will help built a sustainable military command culture that encourages and expects creativity and rewards initiatives.


Baumgartner, J. (2019). The Nine Principle Rules of Creative Leadership.

Schwab, A., & Starbuck, W. H. (2016). Collegial "nests" can foster critical thinking, innovative ideas, and scientific progress. Strategic Organization, 14(2), 167-177.

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