Eli Broad College of Business

Critical Thinking Skills in Business

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About the course

In today's fast-paced, ever changing, data heavy and counterintuitive world, the ability to diagnose and establish causality through critical thinking is more important than ever before. It underpins effective problem solving and decision-making and is fundamental to good business acumen.

To develop one’s critical thinking ability and maximize reasoning effectiveness, it is necessary to master the skill of ‘ingenious thinking’, which is used by successful innovators, scientists, strategists and Nobel Prize winners. By enhancing your critical thinking ability, you are investing in your most important resource and the ultimate competitive advantage – your mind.

Key Topics Covered

  • How the brain’s predisposition for pattern-seeking, pattern-finding leads to faulty thinking
  • How beliefs and preconceived explanations influence our observations and insights
  • The human brain as an ‘associative engine’ and our tendency to jump to conclusions and incorrect solutions
  • Cognitive biases that inhibit our minds and undermine our ability to reason effectively
  • The limits of observation and memory and why a mental picture isn’t worth a 1,000 words
  • The need to understand, value and identify cognitive errors in thinking
  • The importance of being a skeptical and independent thinker
  • The six-step MindLeap strategy, comprising disciplined instinctive thinking and ingenious thinking


This two-day seminar provides participants with a research-based model of effective reasoning and a toolkit of practical critical thinking strategies. Participants will learn skills that have immediate and life-long application at work and in their personal lives.

The program builds awareness of one’s own thinking ability. It enables managers to be more alert to instinctive thinking, to avoid common thinking pitfalls and ‘groupthink’, and to be more rigorous in determining causes. This translates into more effective problem solving and decision-making and better business acumen.

Developing a culture of critical thinking produces many organizational benefits, including increase change agility, more effective strategy implementation and improvement initiatives, less wasted effort/resources, and higher levels of employee engagement and innovation. All of these contribute to key business outcomes such as quality, productivity and profitability.

Who should attend

  • Supervisors, managers and executives who want to build and expand their thinking skills and enhance their decision-making and problem-solving ability would benefit from this program.
  • Any business professional who would like to enhance their thinking process to achieve better results should consider attending this program.

Trust the experts

Michael Rip

Michael Rip is the Founding Director of the Program in Healthcare Administration (Broad College of Business), and previously the Founding Director of the Program in Public Health (College of Human Medicine). Dr. Rip was on the faculty of the Department of Community Health at the University of Cap...


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