In today’s dynamic and fast-moving business world, innovative thinking is an integral part of continued success. Professionals at all levels of development can benefit from taking courses that build their strategic and critical thinking skills. Expanding this skillset allows you to help create the sort of business innovations that keep companies relevant, up-to-date and at the forefront of their industries.
According to a National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics survey, more than 43% of for-profit companies with at least one employee introduced a business innovation in recent years. Employees that use innovative thinking to question the status quo and identify new, fruitful opportunities for growth are of high value to nearly all organizations. Whether you’re interested in sharpening your innovation and design skills, becoming a more effective and strategic leader, or cultivating a culture of disruption within your company, we’ve developed a diverse range of courses that will help you achieve your professional goals.
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What is innovation in business? Depending on a company’s industry and specific characteristics, business innovation can take on a number of different shapes. In broad terms, business innovation is a type of change within a company that drives revenue. This increase in revenue can be in the form of business innovations that implement new products, services or ideas. Or, it can come about as a result of a business innovation that improves efficiency, lowers costs or saves time.
Excellent time management can be a boon to every professional and business. At the company level, proper time management affords many benefits, such as increased efficiency, a better quality of work, and more productivity. In the long run, these benefits can help businesses save on resources.
One example of business innovation would be to conduct a broad audit of consumer and employee feedback on a current product offering before designing its next iteration. By discovering and then incorporating these preferences into a new version of a product, a company may be able to boost sales, generate more positive word-of-mouth marketing, increase its overall market share and ultimately improve its bottom line.
Business innovation is an instrumental part of ensuring an organization’s long term success and profitability. Adopting a forward-thinking, innovative mindset offers many advantages, including:
Staying ahead of the curve (and competition):
Embracing innovation helps companies to remain aware of changes in the competitive landscape as well as shifts in consumer sentiment or preference. By embracing the use of outside data and employee feedback to inform business decisions, companies can stay nimble and beat startups or industry disruptors to market.
Having an efficiency-focused mentality allows businesses to discover areas of waste or redundancy and ultimately improve their profit margin. Additionally, a more streamlined business can have an easier time pivoting and adjusting to changes in the marketplace.
Enhanced employee recruiting and retention:
Many employees are drawn to companies that celebrate innovative thinkers and encourage their participation in decision making. And unfortunately, employees often don’t feel heard—according to a recent AMA survey, nearly 4 in 10 employees reported having an idea to improve something at work that they didn’t even bother to share. Increased input can help employees develop a deeper connection to their jobs and have a stronger buy-in to company initiatives.
Better brand sentiment:
Displaying a strong commitment to innovation can improve your brand’s reputation with consumers – innovation-forward companies like Apple demonstrate the power that a creative, free-thinking brand identity can have on a company’s public perception.
Developing an innovative thinking framework can be broken down into acquiring or strengthening a number of different skills. These skills include:
Critical Thinking: Thinking critically allows us to examine the individual parts of a system and consider the manner in which they fit together. By looking at the “big picture” you may be able to find opportunities to tweak elements of a system in order to improve the entire process.
Creativity: A creative mindset is helpful for attempting to think outside of the current framework, allowing you to discover blind spots and unexplored ideas.
Curiosity:By asking the question “Why?” we can find out whether or not there is sound reasoning behind a current business practice.
Collaboration: Even the best ideas will require that you get other stakeholders to buy in and support your initiative. Understanding how to work with others is key to progress.
Communication:The best innovators are the ones that can share their ideas clearly and succinctly with both colleagues and consumers.
Problem-solving:Depending on your mindset, a problem can be considered an obstacle or an opportunity. Individuals with strong problem-solving skills approach problems with a positive, constructive attitude. They’re energized by challenges and aren’t afraid to fail in the process of solving whatever’s in front of them.
Enhance your thinking process. In AMA’s Critical Thinking course, you’ll learn and practice techniques to generate the sort of breakthrough ideas that can solve your most high-priority problems.
Anticipate, initiate, and manage positive change. AMA’s course, Moving from an Operational Manager to a Strategic Leader, helps managers with fewer than five years of management experience learn how to become an innovator, a persuasive voice, and a proponent of strategic change.
Successfully drive innovation while operating in a flexible work environment. Building a Culture of Innovation for Hybrid and Virtual Teams is AMA’s course for team leaders and professionals working in flexible, virtual, or hybrid office environments. Learn how to build a healthy work culture that transcends physical boundaries.
Thinking and innovation courses can sometimes lack the level of depth required to make a positive impact on your professional development. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose the industry leader - AMA’s highly-organized and expert-led courses provide you with all the tools and support you’ll need to become a more innovative thinker and stand out in your organization.
Here’s a taste of what class participants have to say about their time learning with us.
“Very informative and eye-opening. You don't realize where you are until you look honestly at yourself and what you can change to improve.”
- Lynn R., General Contractor, Commercial Construction
Time Management, Jan 2022
“This course was very helpful. This course gave me new tools to better plan my daily/weekly goals. Restructuring your daily activities to prioritize the "Big Rocks" makes you more efficient and productive.”
- Kelli W., Director, Federal Government
Extraordinary Productivity: The 5 Choices That Drive Success, Jan 2022
Whether you’re currently an entry-level employee, manage a full team, or occupy an executive role, we’ve developed a robust set of critical thinking and strategic thinking courses to expand your knowledge base and elevate your business. Browse all of our thinking and innovation courses below and find the perfect fit.
All Thinking and Innovation Courses
- Entry Level and Mid Level
- Experienced Manager
Virtual Thinking & Innovation Training
While we offer training programs at over 40 locations, we’re committed to making our classes as accessible as possible – regardless of your physical location. Our virtual training options include:
Live Online courses provide the closest possible experience to attending classes in-person. Instruction and interaction both take place in real-time, 3-hour sessions, but the format allows you to attend from your own home.
Live Online Express courses provide real-time instruction in concentrated, 2.5 hour sessions.
Webinar courses allow you to learn in 90 minute sessions at whatever time works best for you.