Critical Thinking Skills in Business

October 4, 2018 - October 5, 2018 | 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

The James B. Henry Center for Executive Development


October 4-5, 2018

Program Overview

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.

Dr. Michael Rip

Dr. Rip is the founder of MindLeap, and a professor at Michigan State University.  MindLeap is based on the integration of research across many disciplines, including cognitive psychology, clinical medicine, public health, epidemiology, neuroscience, social science and strategic intelligence analysis.  Dr. Rip has worked with many organizations to deliver his MindLeap framework in a number of customized formats to suit client and participant needs.


Kristin St. Marie
Assistant Director
(517) 353-5664


$2395 – full tuition (includes materials, meals, certificate of completion)
$1995 – early bird registration (deadline September 8, 2017)

Register for Program