Besides the quantitative side of the business world, such as accounting, algorithms, processes, quarterly figures, market shares, stock options, currency exchange rates etc., there is another side, equally important, that has no numbers available. We are talking about corporate image, stress, creativity, team spirit, assertiveness, "black swans", aesthetics etc.

To a big extent, the success of a business depends on its capacity to make a difference regarding competition. And today's differences in the eyes of a customer are probably built more on perception than on reality.

In relation to this, great philosophers have something to say! With this free online course you can rediscover the art of thinking. As a manager, you should understand the role of mental models, realise the importance of cognitive bias, agree on clear definitions and efficient criteria etc.

A great example  is when someone says "We should think creatively about the future of the company". Our minds immediately tend to focus on the word "company", which is part of daily life.

However, it is important to pay attention to three other key words namely "think", "creatively" and "future". They all must be considered as separate topics. Creativity demands the ability to unshackle ourselves from conventional ways of thinking, to "think outside the box". But we need to go a step further. Once outside the box, we need to construct a new box or boxes (i.e. - new intellectual frameworks or models) to help us structure our thinking. Only once we have done so can we generate truly game-changing ideas.

About this course


Lecture 1 : The forgotten half of change

Lecture 2 : How do we think?

Lecture 3 : On the shoulders of giants

Lecture 4 : Mental Models and perception

Lecture 5 : Eureka or Caramba?

Lecture 6 : Thinking in new boxes

Start date: Self-paced

Length: 6 weeks

Language: English

Institution: École Centrale Paris

Platform: Class Central