Difference Between Critical Analysis and Analytical Thinking
When you really want to reflect and put your points across, it’s said that you have to speak through your mind but from your heart with what you have lived and experienced. In this piece, I am going to use real life issues and experiences to help put forth my genuine reflections on the different ways of thinking analytical, critical and strategic. To start with, I would like to discuss the latest and prominent issue in Mumbai, whether it should be called Mumbai or Bombay.
There was this debate going around in the class and one of my peers analyzed that it should be called Bombay because 80% people in Mumbai want to call it by that name. Then he also corroborated this by linking it with one of the newspaper and saying that it has stated that 65% of the public want to call this city Bombay and not Mumbai. He also conducted his survey and collected data of people from various parts of the city, the South Mumbai, the Central Mumbai and the North Mumbai. He later analyzed the question on the data collected and concluded that indeed people of this city want to call it by its colonial name Bombay.
He was indeed very right because he had broken down this problem and had made all effort to reach every corner of the city for the survey. His survey number too indicated the same and with the help of analytical thinking, he convinced that people want to call this city Bombay. Thus the beauty of analytical thinking is that with the data and figure well in placed you can possibly prove anything without anyone even questioning it. However I was born in Mumbai knew this city in and out and decided to find the answer to the same problem but critically.
More than numbers and figures, I relied more on my knowledge and experiences of this beautiful city. Therefore, I too conducted a similar but asked one more question, Why do they want to call Mumbai as Bombay? And the answer was surprising. They wanted to call it Mumbai but as the name of Mumbai was Bombay in the business circle, they wanted it to named Bombay. Moreover, the survey conducted by my friend was done in commercial areas of the South, central and North Mumbai. Where majority of the people come from other cities and have no knowledge and understanding of the local feelings.
So the analytical thinking over here clearly missed out the local feeling of the people as well as the understanding of the complex community. I have mentioned the above experience because I want to bring forth the major difference between analytical and critical thinking. While analytical thinking did prove and gave an answer to the above question and even looked more credible because of the numbers, it failed to include local feeling and knowledge of the local area. This is one of the major differences between analytical and critical thinking.
While analytical thinking segregates the problem into many areas and tries to back it up with figures, critical thinking uses the knowledge and experience and put them into logical thinking to formulate an answer. As far as strategic thinking is concern, I am still trying to define the meaning and the closer I am defining it the farther it goes. It’s like debating whether GOD exist or not. GOD is there we believe, but on experiences and intuitions. We cannot see Him but still feel He’s there. Similarly, strategic thinking eludes its definite existence but is always there.
You can call it a plan of actions designed to achieve a particular goal. This plan of action is implemented by considering and weighing several facets and views. Your knowledge and most importantly your understanding and application is of uttermost importance for strategic thinking. After these prerequisites comes the analysis and synthesis of these prerequisites keeping the importance of all possible view and possibilities open. Hence, strategic thinking never has a definite answer or solution. Its all about selecting the best possibility.
So even If I do manage to come out with a winning strategy other might ridicule it simply because they might look at it from different angle. So more you are ridiculed or castigated the better will be your strategic thinking. Today leadership is like a soul trapped between his internal consciousness and external realities. The soul can choose infinite possibilities but yet have to select a very few. Moreover, whatever he does should be such that it takes the side that benefits the all. In today world, a leadership would be difficult to sustain without keeping all the three things like financial, social and environmental aspects.
And to keep this leadership has to inculcate power with ethics for any sort of sustainability. Leadership can be short-lived if one doesn’t compromise on some of the ethics at the same time would be dangerous if he follows none. So it has t o have it only to the point of sustainability. When an enlightened one writes a poem thousands read it. However, each one of them perceives it in a way they want to and this depends on their own life experiences and knowledge. Similarly, I use to perceive the World in a way I have seen it with my eyes and observed.
But to really understand you need to perceive it through the eyes of many others and that is one thing that I have learned from this edifying experience of the last two weeks. Today when I am leading, I am open to infinite possibilities and views. I am trying to use the five why technique in my mind to reach out to the possible root cause.. Then the model that I am trying to work is to use critical thinking first and then use analytical thinking to corroborate the findings of the critical thinking. This I feel would help counter the limitations of the analytical thinking and at the same time will help foster the critical thinking results.