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Critical and Strategic Thinking in Practice

Use critical thinking and the conceptual thinking framework to approach problems effectively and communicate your solutions.

3,242 enrolled on this course

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Learn to solve complex problems with strategic thinking

Life and business are getting faster and more complex every day. The faster pace ramps up the pressure to act quickly but this complexity needs careful, strategic, conceptual thinking, which takes time.

On this four-week course featuring content from BigThink, you’ll learn from some of the brightest minds in conceptual thinking such as Alan Alda, Charles Duhigg, Leonard Mlodinow, and Nancy Duarte, to name a few.

You’ll discover the conceptual thinking framework and learn practical skills for how to apply it to problems and communicate your analysis in order to problem-solve efficiently and effectively.

Discover how to approach and define problem-solving

A common mistake companies make when tackling complex problems is failing to do the pre-work. This can waste time, energy, and money because either the team isn’t right or the goals are poorly defined.

This course will guide you through strategies for looking at the problem space with clarity, then assembling a team with the right balance of talents to think creatively and reach consensus.

Explore different critical thinking strategies

We have hardwired tendencies to think within our “comfort zones” which can often cause us to miss opportunities and perspectives that might lead to more creative solutions.

On this course, you’ll learn practical strategies for considering all stakeholders, seeing the problem through different eyes, evaluating potential risks, and connecting unlikely dots for inspiration.

Develop communication skills to get buy-in for your solutions

No matter how brilliant your idea might be, communication can mean the difference between success and failure.

You’ll learn how to transform your idea into a reality by improving your communication skills to get buy-in from other stakeholders and decision-makers.

What topics will you cover?

  • Approaching complex problems with well-established strategies.
  • Defining productive and well-defined goals.
  • Thinking about solutions from various perspectives, evaluating risks.
  • Communicating the reasoning behind a solution to get wider buy-in and lead to success.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Apply the conceptual thinking framework to a problem of your choice and structure your team to implement it.
  • Define the problem you’re facing in clear and succinct terms.
  • Apply critical thinking strategies to generate possible solutions.
  • Explore how to communicate your analysis of the problem and your proposed solutions in ways that win buy-in from other stakeholders within and outside of your organisation.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professionals at any stage in their career, and will be especially useful for current or aspiring leaders currently in the earlier stages of their careers.

By completing this course, you’ll gain the skills to tackle complex problems, define goals clearly, and develop effective solutions; the perfect skillset for any leader.

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

Big Think

Big Think is a leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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