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VPS 3-4 Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

9th - 10th, October 2024 / Melbourne, AU
SAVE UP TO $1000
Discount ends in 11 days


Develop essential critical thinking skills and problem solving abilities required of VPS 3-4 officers

• Apply 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
• Leverage the skills of creative and lateral thinking in complex problem solving
• Overcome common roadblocks to critical thinking and problem solving


Richard Farrelly

With over 27 years in law enforcement, Richard excels in leading teams in high-pressure settings. He's adept at fostering positive team cultures and has led successful projects in organisational change and leadership development. Notably, he modernised Victoria Police values and facilitated leadership programs for over 4000 employees. Since leaving law enforcement, Richard coaches leaders across diverse sectors, emphasising improved communication and team dynamics to enhance performance. He's renowned for shifting mindsets and uncovering strengths within individuals and groups.

Founder and Principal Consultant
Head to Head Leadership Development, Coaching and Facilitation



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

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

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

- 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


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 

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

- Cognitive biases, ideological conflict and problems arising in groups 

  • Richard Farrelly Founder and Principal Consultant Head to Head Leadership Development, Coaching and Facilitation


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: - Analysis of variables, root-cause analysis and interdependencies

- Design of possible solutions, opportunities or courses of action

- Selection and deployment of solution

- Decision on Implementation

- Monitoring, learning and evaluation


Cultivating your skills and maintaining your edge as a critical thinker 

- Wrap up discussion on key themes

- What will you do differently as a result of this program?

- Develop your action plan to implement on your return to work

  • Richard Farrelly Founder and Principal Consultant Head to Head Leadership Development, Coaching and Facilitation

Group Discounts



Rapid Action

Ends May 29

SAVE UP TO $1000


Value Plus

Ends June 20


Super Saver

Ends July 24


Early Bird

Ends August 23



Cliftons Melbourne

Level 1, 440 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

+61 3 9993 9999

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