Leading in a VUCA World: Importance of Cognitive Readiness & Critical Thinking Competencies

CEE in partnership with Executive Development Associates Inc. (EDA) and Action Management Associates, Inc. (AMAI) is pleased to present a suite of services that build the critical thinking competency. Starting with the top of the house and cascading down throughout the organization, you will find a comprehensive solution to fit your needs. 


The challenges that organizations face today are enormous: increasing global competition, emerging markets, technology, and the political and economic landscape. Leaders at all levels need to be able to think fast and act smart – often in VUCA situations that are volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, where no effective policy or procedure. That makes critical thinking a real necessity.

In a VUCA world what is needed is Cognitive Readiness: the preparedness and agility to handle the situation at hand and still prevail. Chief among the new VUCA-related competencies that leaders need to develop is a high level of Cognitive Readiness, which is the mental, emotional, and interpersonal preparedness for uncertainty and risk (Hagemann & Bawany, 2016). 

Critical Thinking, the more common and tactical of the thinking skills, involves strategic thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. It has been a hot topic for the past six years in the EDA Research on Trends for Executive Development. In the latest 2016 Survey, respondents also identified the importance of developing Cognitive Readiness in order to be able to effectively think critically. 

Organizations are prioritizing the development of Cognitive Readiness as the one of priority for leading in a VUCA business environment. This may reflect recognition of its importance for current and emerging leaders and a serious commitment to developing these mental capabilities, or it may simply reflect curiosity about the latest leadership development topic and a desire to avoid being left behind. Either way, two issues are present. First, organizations will need to think creatively about the processes they employ to accelerate the development of Cognitive Readiness in High Potential Leaders. Second, organizations may want to explain why, in practice, Cognitive Readiness is important to their success and then define in much greater depth their expectations of perspective.


The Overview of the CEE Cognitive Readiness and Critical Thinking Solutions could be found here.

Paragon 7™: Critical Thinking - Transcended

EDA’s research-based Paragon7™ program is designed to enhance your cognitive readiness skills so that you can thrive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) business or government environment. 

Paragon7™ accelerates executives' capabilities in the following seven (7) cognitive readiness competencies so they can successfully confront ill-defined, high-intensity challenges in the complex, dynamic and often ambiguous modern business world.


The description of these Paragon7™ Cognitive Readiness competencies are as follows:

1)    Mental Cognition: Recognize and regulate your thoughts and emotions

2)    Attentional Control: Manage and focus your attention

3)    Sensemaking: Connect the dots and see the bigger picture

4)    Intuition: Check your gut, but don’t let it rule your mind

5)    Problem Solving: Use analytical and  creative methods to resolve a challenge

6)    Adaptability: Be willing and able to change, with shifting conditions

7)    Communication: Inspire others to action; Create fluid communication pathways

Overall, heightened Cognitive Readiness allows leaders to maintain a better sense of self-control in stressful situations.


Critical Thinking Workshop Series

AMAI has designed a series of Critical Thinking Workshops that can be delivered on-site, or in some cases, via distance learning technologies which includes the following:

  • Critical Thinking for Business Growth (CTBG)
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making (PDSM)
  • Applied Critical Thinking (ACT)
  • Rapid Troubleshooter
  • Critical Thinking for Administrative Professionals
  • Customised Workshop

Critical Thinking University™

Imagine being able to learn dynamic decision-making and thinking skills that can be applied directly to actual workplace situations, all without leaving your office. It’s now possible through Critical Thinking University™.

This powerful eLearning portal has 18 interactive courses that leverage real-world business scenarios to build critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime.



Critical Thinking Boot Camp

EDA's Critical Thinking Boot Camp is an intensive, 3-phase development process focused on learning practical skills that will have an IMMEDIATE impact on your bottom line.  While there won’t be any push-ups or sprints, each attendee will be immersed in masters level, vigorous training on critical thinking. Utilizing tools and techniques developed and refined over the past 30 years, this workshop will help your workforce understand their critical thinking strengths and challenges and build lasting skills on both the individual and team levels.




Certifications for Critical Thinking Programs




Contact for Further Information

Call Us Now at (65) 6789-0977 to speak to someone directly about Critical Thinking programs and/or other Executive Development solutions for your organization or email us at enquiry@cee-global.com.