Critical Thinking Skills in Business

Eli Broad College of Business

How long?

  • 5 days
  • online

What are the topics?

Eli Broad College of Business

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Who should attend

The Critical Thinking Skills in Business: Skills for Problem Solving and Problem Prevention program is for those who are responsible for anticipating and addressing problems. Former participants include intelligence analysts, research and design directors, engineering managers, operations managers, information system designers, enterprise system managers, financial analysis managers, and vice presidents of strategy.

About the course

Skills for Problem Solving and Problem Prevention

We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world in which businesses have to cope with fickle expectations and ferocious competition. This environment imposes higher cognitive demands on leaders. They are expected to make accurate judgements and decisions about a broader range of issues, more quickly, and more often. And the consequences of error show up faster and often with a significantly higher cost to individuals and the organization.

Leaders have more responsibilities, more conflicting demands, more disruption, more distraction and are expected to drive more change across the organization. This translates into less time for analysis, imperfect or insufficient data, and higher levels of stress. All of these factors combine to ‘push’ leaders to rely on error-prone intuition and to make decisions based on erroneous information.

Given the above, here are six key reasons why developing leaders critical thinking skills is vital to their effectiveness:

  • Critical thinking underpins effective decision-making.
  • Critical thinking is central to learning agility (self-directed learning from experience).
  • The modern approach to strategic management mirrors a critical thinking approach.
  • Critical thinking is essential to competing as a high reliability organization.
  • Leaders who are good at critical thinking cast a mighty leadership shadow.
  • Critical thinking is essential to leveraging the minds of your people.

KEY LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After attending this program, participants will:

  • Understand how to think critically using a structured process
  • Learn the six-step Critical Thinking strategy that incorporates ‘disciplined instinctive thinking’
  • Evaluate how critical thinking relates to root cause analysis and effective problem solving
  • Assess the importance of being a skeptical and independent thinker
  • Analyze how to identify and value cognitive errors in thinking
  • Prevent the illusion of ‘causality’ that leads misperceptions and misidentified cause and effect
  • Compare the difference between “instinctive thinking” and “ingenious thinking”
  • Apply strategies for overcoming instinctive thinking and leveraging reasoning ability
  • Examine simple, yet powerful cognitive strategies such as Einstein’s Needles and Occam’s Razor
  • Recognize how innovative thinking (creativity) plays a crucial role in critical thinking

These learning objectives will be achieved through faculty instruction, group discussions, and interactive exercises.

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...

Critical Thinking Skills in Business at Eli Broad College of Business

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