Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Question Everything

Innovation means change, so we have to learn that our students need more than the skills needed to pass the state assessments given every spring. We have to give them tools that will make them productive in their future careers.
-Kimberly, Innovation in Education: What Does it Mean, What Does it Look Like?

Albert Einstein said, “if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask…for once I know the proper question to ask, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.” I love this quote because I love questions. I am not talking about simple questions that can be googled or can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” I am talking about questions that require you to analyze a situation, mentally test all outcomes in your mind or questions that leave you with more questions after you have discussed and debated the topic with your peers. Continue reading Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

The Robots Need Our Help

“The future world would be one where the focus will be on collaboration and one where AI will become the “chief of staff” allowing societies an equal access of technology and therefore flexible models of working. “
-Stuart Templeton, The Future is Exciting

I have some GREAT news to share! The robots and A.I. aren’t planning to take our jobs. Recent studies and reports are stating that our technological advancements will actually create more jobs, and the robots need our help to complete their task. Stuart Templeton, the head of Slack UK, said, “the future would be one where the future is focused on collaboration and one where AI will become the ‘chief of staff.” Continue reading Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Set the Genius FREE!

“Mozart acknowledged that his great work was simply a by-product of diligent and consistent hard-work on his craft for many years.”
-Mayo OShin, Ladders Magazine
In last weeks newsletter, I focused on encouraging you to switch your focus from “finding your passion” and challenged you to switch to the Carole Dweck approved phrase of “developing your passion.” This week I would like to discuss the hard-work and effort that actually goes into taking your skills to the next level.

Mayo Oshin in his article, Mozart on How to Unlock Your Inner Creative Genius, writes, “there is a destructive myth that the ‘creative genius’ is born with an innate, godlike ability to create extraordinary work at the snap of their finger…this couldn’t be further from the truth.” Oshin’s article states that the inner genius is developed through consistent practice. Continue reading Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion

Develop Your Passion

We need to carefully consider what we communicate to people about interests and passionsParents, teachers, and employers might get the most out of people if they suggest that interests are developed, not simply found.”

-Paul O’Keefe, Yale Psychologist
Before reading Ephrat Levni’s article, “Find Your Passion” is bad advice“, I would always tell my students to “get out there and find your passion, and your destiny awaits you!” I would speak these words with such conviction because this is what I was always told.

Levni’s article was truly an eye-opener. The article suggests that we have to STOP telling our co-workers, students, and even family members to stop seeking their passion and we need to start telling them to DEVELOP their passion.

This is really good advice because as Levni described in the article, your passion isn’t sitting there waiting for you and all the questions to life will be answered once you find it. No, Levni says that you pick your passion and develop it to the best of your ability and keep working at it.

I challenge all of you to STOP trying to find your passion and telling others to do so. Today is the day we tell others (and ourselves) to DEVELOP your passion because this will put you in the driver’s seat and in control of where your future is headed. Click here to enroll in our online training course or here to schedule a LIVE Training for your team so we can work together to DEVELOP your passion.

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Is it Ever Okay to Fail?

Help Them Fail!

“The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

As educators and leaders, our job is to help our students and employees to fail. Before you delete this e-mail please give me 2 minutes of your time to explain why students need to fail.

As a professional educator and entrepreneur, I have failed many times over. Unlike Zuckerberg, I didn’t have the freedom to fail, but the lessons I learned were priceless and have fueled my success. Looking back on my failures I wouldn’t change one thing, because iMar Learning Solutions is the result of those failures.

The quote from Zuckerberg is from his 2017 Harvard commencement speech but his message is still relevant a year later. I agree with Mark 100% because students and employees need a safe space to try their crazy ideas that might not work but also might change your entire industry.

The threat of automation coming to take jobs is real and now is the time to prepare our students and employees for these changes. As leaders in the workforce and classroom, it is our duty to prepare our followers and students by first mentally preparing them to fail. We can achieve this by giving them permission to “take a stab at it” and take the fear of a failing grade out of the equation. David Nigel of Campus Technology reported in his study that, “Creativity needs to be infused more deeply into the curriculum. However, according to a new study, testing, federal and state mandates, and a dearth of time and resources, among other factors, are getting in the way.”

I challenge you to take the first step with your employees and students. Share your ideas and stories here with the iMar community so we can all learn from each other!

Read More: Mark Zuckerberg: Success Comes from the Freedom to Fail

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Will Your Skills Be Needed in the Future?

Will You Matter in 2030?

Demand for higher cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making, and complex information processing, will grow through 2030 at cumulative double-digit rates.”
-Adam Jezard, The World Economic Forum

I know that 2030 is a long time from now, but it is never too early to start planning for the future. If you have been following iMar Learning Solutions then you already know that 2020 is the year that the way we “work” is scheduled to be impacted the most. A lot of reports originally reported doom and gloom, and there is some truth to that. Here is a list of the Top 20 Jobs that will be eliminated by 2020.

New reports are actually stating that A.I. will create more new jobs than they eliminate, and that is GREAT news. But, do you have the correct skills to land one of these new A.I. created jobs? Skills like creativity, social and emotional intelligence, and creative problem solving will be more important than ever because we need leaders that can navigate the new landscape and lead their respective teams to the promised land. Oliver Cann, Director of Public Engagement for The World Economic Forum, said, “A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term.” Don’t forget to check out the article below to learn more about what you skills you will need to succeed in 2030.

Read More: The 3 Key Skill Sets for the Workers of 2030

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Are Millennials Doomed For Stunted Growth & Darkness?

You Can Improve Your Critical Thinking 

Critical thinking punctures myth in favor of reason because it challenges us to set aside opinion for reason and logic. Therefore it is essential for individuals, teams, and organizations. Failure to evaluate options critically results in stunted growth and darkness.” -John Baldoni, Forbes

This post is for Gen-Xers and Millennials because we both have to learn to work together. Gen-Xers grew up in a time when workers did not depend on technology as much to accomplish tasks. This also means that Gen-Xers have a responsibility to help mentor the younger generation to develop their critical thinking skills in the workplace and Millennials should help their older co-workers stay ahead of the technology curve.


Chip Conley states in his article,4 Ways to Help Different Generations Share Wisdom at Work, that “There are now five generations working alongside each other – an unprecedented opportunity to learn from such a diverse range of experiences. But there’s not always an obvious path for people to share with and learn from each other. Especially when generations are siloed, both older and younger workers keep their wisdom buried.”

Workers have to take advantage of the human resources that are available in order to become the best “YOU” that you can. The future of your career may very well depend on your ability to think critically, see beyond numbers, make connections, and show your employer that you have the vision that will help the company remain competitive.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Read More: Wanted Millennials Who Can Think Critically

EQ is the New IQ

“Emotional hijacks aren’t pleasant, but they’re inevitable. The question is: What are you going to do with them? With the right strategy, you can make them work for you, instead of against you.
-Justin Bariso, EQ Applied

In order to stay employed in today’s workplace, you must understand your level of emotional intelligence. Justin Bariso in his book EQ Applied defines emotional intelligence as,  “the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.” If you have a high level of emotional ability you will be valued as an employee and leader in your organization and this will help increase your likelihood of being considered for promotions and special projects.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company said, “once someone gets promoted, technical skills become less necessary, and interpersonal ones become more critical in their workplace.” Emotional Intelligence is one of the most important factors that employers use to decide if they will hire or promote you, and that is why iMar Learning Solutions is here to help you improve in this area by focusing on leadership development, creative problem solving, analytical thinking, collaboration, and emotional intelligence.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

What Job Skill is the Most Lacking in the US?

Do You Know the Answer?

Not surprisingly, there continues to be an imbalance with regards to software engineering. But somewhat surprisingly, interpersonal skills is where we’re seeing the biggest imbalance. Communications is the No. 1 skill gap.” –LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

The ability to communicate with your team at work will carry you very far in your career. Many Gen-Xer’s complain that millennials struggle in this area. In Scott Mauz’s article, “What Job Skill is Most Lacking in the US?” he shares Jeff Weiner’s advice on how to improve your communication skills. Make sure to reach out us at iMar Learning if you feel like you or your team can improve in this area, we are ready to listen!

Read More: “What Job Skill is Most Lacking in the US?

Can Business and Education Close the Skills Gap Together?

Closing the Gap Together

Despite U.S. high school graduation rates reaching all-time highs, many employers are finding that recent graduates are unprepared to succeed in the workforce because they lack foundational “soft skills.” While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors.” -U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently published a report on why the business and education sector must work together to close the soft skills gap. These two sectors working together seems like one of those solutions that is almost so obvious we could have almost missed it. iMar is working daily to seek out partners so that we can bring our soft skills training to the people that need it most. We focus on the “Big 6” of critical thinking: Leadership, Creative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration, Social & Emotional Intelligence, and Communication, because as the report mentions these are the skills that employers want that are rare to find.

Click Here to Download the Full Report

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Click Here to Enroll in IMAR’s Critical Thinking Academy