What is the importance of creativity in an Executive MBA?

November 20, 2018

The benefits of creativity in today's ever changing business world

executive MBA students work on a white board
Creativity is an essential skill for Executive MBA students.

Students earning their Executive MBAs need to develop and draw on a wide range of skills and competencies when learning how to navigate the world of international business. Leadership, communication and management skills are necessary for building teams, keeping them motivated and guiding them through complex challenges. The ability to network is valuable for discovering new opportunities, while project management skills are needed to follow through on them. Financial literacy, a knowledge of global affairs and strategic thinking all come into play as well.

One of the most important skills for today’s MBA students, however, might be creativity.

While creativity is often associated with a degree in the fine arts, it’s also essential for anyone studying for their Executive MBA and hoping to succeed in business, especially in today’s fast-paced, competitive and ever-evolving international markets. Here’s why.

Creativity is the key to generating new products and ideas

Innovation is a word with many definitions, but they all revolve around the idea of creating something new. This might mean a new product, a new service or just a new spin on something that already exists. Whatever the case may be, it is one of the foundational concepts in business, and it’s a process that is largely dependent on creativity.

By inventing new products or services, companies carve out a unique location for themselves in the market and position themselves for success. If you’re selling the same thing as everyone else, then there’s no way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Creativity is what’s needed to set a company apart.

Picture of a supermarket shelf that shows how important creativity of executive MBA students is
Creativity is essential for businesses trying to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Every Aspect of a Business Can Benefit from a Creative Approach

Product development might be the most obvious way in which creativity is important to companies and executive MBA students, but it’s certainly not the only way. All of the aspects of a company’s operations – research, marketing and even the process of product development itself – are also highly dependent on creativity to break out of past molds that may be stale, uncompetitive or outmoded.

With the quick pace of technological advances, the high levels of competition in global marketplaces, and the unpredictability of things like consumer demand and regulatory changes, businesses need to be prepared to change course with very little notice. This often means navigating uncharted territory, where strategies that may have worked in the past can no longer be counted on. In these increasingly common situations, creativity is a necessity.

Executive MBA Students Can Use Their Creativity to Their Advantage

What this means for anyone considering a global MBA program and a career in international business is that the skills you may have developed while playing guitar, writing poems or painting landscapes might actually be very applicable to the business world, if only indirectly. These types of activities and hobbies are important in building the creative intelligence that can help students find new ways to create, improve and market products, and to better manage and lead groups and companies.

Picture of 2 painters symbolising to build up creativity during a global MBA program
Artistic pastimes are a great way to build up your creativity during your global MBA program.

Those with the ability to develop new solutions to problems, and to combine old ones in novel and unforeseen ways, will have a big advantage when it comes to learning how to stay competitive in MBA school.

Are you interested in flexing your creativity in a career in international business?

Contact WU Executive Academy for more information about our Executive Master of Business Administration.

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