University of Phoenix
CRITICAL THINKING: STRATEGIES IN DECISION MAKING
April 20, 2010
Critical thinking is a vital part of the banking industry. Decisions have to be made daily, decisions that involve finances for customers, obtaining objectives for the bank, and ensuring compliancy with internal and external agencies. The importance of critical thinking in the banking sector can have fruitful and result in long term benefits if used properly, conversely, if not properly used can have damaging effects and can also result in penalties/fines and or conviction. “The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit” (1).
I have been in the banking industry for a little over a year. Since that time, I have seen my responsibilities expand, as I gain more experience and knowledge. As part of my newly acquired duties, I have been asked to oversee loan documentation. Part of my duties is to ensure that loans are compliant with bank procedures and federal and state regulations. When loans are not compliant or are missing required documents, the loan is placed on an exceptions report. This report is crucial to the bank and it is necessary to ensure that any loans on this report are cleared. After that taking over this task, my branch had fifteen outstanding exceptions. Some of these exceptions are as recent as two months ago, and some as old as two years ago. One of the glaring issues that I noticed was the abundant amount of exceptions that needed to be cleared. To put things into perspective, typically, a branch will have zero to three exceptions. Ultimately, the goal for every branch is to have zero exceptions. The reason that banks strive for this goal is that it reduces or eliminates the amount of exposure to loss and risk of fraud that may occur.
As I started evaluating the data before me, I needed to determine the root of the problem within my branch. Was it an individual problem, which could be quickly remedied, was it a group problem in which additional training may be required or was it a problem with the process and procedures, in which improvements would need to be made. It was fairly easy to see that this was not an individual or group problem as the exceptions on the report showed various employees, old and new, some who were still employed with the bank and others who were no longer with the bank. However, the issues creating these exceptions seemed to have a common thread. The same documents were missing in a majority of the exceptions.
To help alleviate and eliminate these recurring problems, I needed to find a systematic way to ensure that the same process was being implemented when new loans were being processed. I approached my manager with a solution that I new would help eliminate the issue at hand. The first step would be to re-train all branch employees; second, a new loan checklist would be used to ensure that all documents were being processed correctly and last, before any loan could be sent to the appropriate department, I would need to review the loan package. The branch manager looked at my recommendation and came to the decision that this would be the best plan of attack to resolve the branch problem. After that its inception we have not had any new exceptions on our report. As for the existing fifteen exceptions, I needed to prioritize each loan. I looked at each exception and decided on clearing the exceptions that required the least amount of effort first, clearing three. Next, I proceeded to segment the exceptions by level of importance, knowing that the greater the importance, the greater the exposure and risk to the bank.
Prior to this class, I was vaguely familiar with the term critical thinking, however; I genuinely never knew how important and how much I use this learned skill in my day-to-day life. In this particular situation a great deal of critical thinking was used to obtain my objective. ???The focus of critical thinking is on evaluating successful alternatives for action. Thinking critically is also an automatic filter that can prioritize activity in a changing environment. Critical thinking allows professionals to manage daily challenges by methodically yet creatively solving problems??? (2).
Title: Defining critical thinking. (RESEARCH REPORT)
Authors: Rick D. Rudd.
Imprint: Oct 1, 2007
Source: Techniques Oct 1, 2007, Vol. 82, Issue 7, p46
Abstract: ??¦Critical thinking is a skill most teachers would readily agree is important??¦
Database: Academic OneFile
Title: Critical Thinking in the Management of Technology.
Authors: English, Marlanda1
Source: Critical Thinking in the Management of Technology ??“ Research Starters Business; 2008, p1-1, 12p
Document Type: Essay
Author Affiliations: 1President of ECS Consulting Associates
Accession Number: 27577669
Persistent link to this record (Permalink): http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=e6h&AN=27577669&site=ehost-live
Database: Research Starters – Business