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23rd - 24th, March 2023
Virtual / Streaming

Practical outcome-driven models for critical thinking and problem solving


- Unpack critical thinking as a mental process and set of action steps to address everyday problems
- Use a structured systems thinking approach to analysing problems and designing solutions
- Leverage the skills of creative and lateral thinking in complex problem solving
- Overcome common roadblocks to critical thinking and problem solving


Garry Mills

Garry is a neurocoach, speaker and author who simplifies brain science to develop brainy athletes.

Garry's philosophy is, “Leadership and wellbeing is not rocket science. It’s brain science.”®. He studied neuroscience and is a professionally qualified coach.

Garry has facilitated, coached, and presented to thousands of people and his clients include world class professional athletes, passionate leaders, entrepreneurs, and teams across the private and public sectors.

Prior to falling madly in love with the human brain, he was in the public sector and a police officer for 20 years.

Garry is also a passionate road cyclist, coffee snob, and survived a reality TV show. 

Presenter & Coach
Garry Mills Peak Performance


Workshop Day One
Workshop Day Two
NSW Public Sector Grades 9-10 Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

23 Mar - 24 Mar


Critical thinking and problem solving as a key priority in the NPS

- Review the current context and landscape for problem-solving in the NPS

- Why problem-solving has been identified as a top skilling priority across all levels of the NPS

- How critical thinking provides the necessary lens to frame problems rationally and produce evidence-based solutions

- How problem-solving ability could drive your career advancement in 2022 and beyond


Unpacking critical thinking techniques

- The cognitive principles, tools and strategies essential to critical thinking

- Reviewing critical thinking tools and taking stock of our own limitations and strengths

- How to think like a scientist - Learning how to objectively collect and evaluate evidence

- Whole-brain thinking; exploring creative thinking for generating new ideas and links, acting on intuition, imagining possibilities and connecting ideas through considering alternatives


Problem-solving methods and key tools

- Reviewing common types of problems

- Root cause analysis - getting to the heart of the problem 

- Explore how Systems Thinking is applied to provide clarity around root causes, interdependencies, possible constraints and outcomes 

- Creating a process map or mind map to provide clarity around the problem 

- Creative problem-solving techniques and activities: Abstract questioning, brainstorming, role switching, visualisation, ideation and process re-mapping


Working with others on problem-solving

- Facilitating a shared understanding of issues and problems 

- Learn to prepare and present powerful evidence-based arguments and solutions

- Resolving conflict and challenges in group problem solving

  • Garry Mills Presenter & Coach Garry Mills Peak Performance


Definition: Understanding the problem

- Agreeing on the reality of the problem: Definition of key variables: known causal factors, structure, scope, stakeholder impact, interdependencies and constraints 

- Evaluating problem impacts

- Consider solution criteria and problem-solving deliverables


Analysis: Identifying and evaluating possible solutions

- Evaluate solutions based on feasibility, impact and risk

- How to approach complex or ‘wicked problems’ (problems resistant to conventional resolution)

- Review tools, priorities and resources available (including expertise) 


Implementation: The problem-solving process in action

- Approaching the problem-solving process as a system, applying a critical thinking lens at all stages, consider: 

- Problem identification, detection or framing

- Design of possible solutions, opportunities or courses of action

- Evaluation and selection of solution

- Consideration of risk, including feasibility, uncertainty/error 

- Decision on Implementation 

- Deployment of solution

- Monitoring, learning and evaluation 


Overcoming the roadblocks to critical thinking and problem solving

- Cognitive biases, ideological conflict and problems arising in groups

- Observation blind-spots and measurement errors

- The inherently challenging nature of ‘wicked problems’ 

- Cultivating your skills and maintaining your edge as a critical thinker

  • Garry Mills Presenter & Coach Garry Mills Peak Performance



Online Delivery

Virtual / Streaming

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