15 Free Online Courses To Foster Innovation & Creativity

No matter what your plans are in life, it is important to use innovation and creativity to get there. It is very difficult to resolve today’s complex and ever-changing challenges without a good dose of creativity as part of your approach. Luckily, it is now easier than ever to stimulate the kind of thinking that will allow you to come up with creative and effective new ideas!

Thanks to the great new technologies available for online education, it is easier than it has ever been to blaze new trails in creativity from the comfort of your own home. Not only are some of the best creativity courses now available online, but you will also find that many of them are free. What could better than free, high quality courses to get you thinking?

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There are courses that can help you with a variety of different critical thinking challenges, with brainstorming, with arguing, with understanding other people, and with many other things that are sure to come in handy. Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur (or both!) why not take advantage of some of these great free courses today?

Fifteen of the top online courses for building creativity are:

  1. Making Sense of Strategy: Both organizations and individuals deploy strategic thinking in order to reach their goals. If you are looking for new ways to understand strategy so that you can make better decisions, this course might be exactly what you need. Foster new insight into how others think and how you can “think better,” too.
  2. Management Beyond the Mainstream: Are you interested in leading an organization or a business, but want to do so in such a way that creativity is rewarded? Use this class and its various methods and case studies to seize those opportunities to go “above and beyond,” and do so in such a way that won’t undermine your momentum.
  3. Entrepreneurial Impressions: Some of the most creative and innovative people in the world are its successful entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurial Impressions course gives you the chance to “peek into the head” of successful entrepreneurs to understand their thought process and the many challenges that they must go through to realize their ideas.
  4. Business Ethics in Contemporary Business: Ethics is a field of study that has been around for centuries. One of the most horizon-expanding experiences that you can have is learning to apply ethics to various situations so as to form your own concept and understanding of how ethics should be applied. In this course, you’ll see the intersection of ethics and business.
  5. Managerial Communication: Every act of communication is at least a little bit different. In order to apply creativity to the communication process, you must understand the goals of each communicative act. This course focuses on the challenges of communicating as a manager and how to overcome them effectively. You can apply these ideas to many other situations!
  6. Management vs. Leadership: The Difference: Creative individuals are often called upon to be leaders. To realize your own leadership potential, you should take time to think about what the differences between leading and managing others are. This course will introduce the question and allow you to develop your own definitions of how leadership and management apply to you.
  7. Leaders and Their Roles in Organizations: Building on the information that you learned above, you will find out ways to effectively persuade and influence others in this course. You can use the information here to help develop your ideas about leadership and bring your vision for business or social change to life using the help of others.
  8. Groupthink: Definitions and Examples: Groupthink is the antithesis of creativity. Not only businesses, but any group of people or organization can fall prey to groupthink. If your goal is to encourage creativity in a wide variety of situations, you should learn about the reasons why creative thought gets stifled and how to work against that change.
  9. Henry Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles: One aspect of creativity is the ability to take on the right “role” at the right time. We must be able to gently adjust the way that we present ourselves to others in order to ensure that we are meeting all of our obligations at any given time, just like an actor might. In this course on managerial roles, a student has the opportunity to learn about the many different “hats” that a manager in an organization might wear.
  10. Negotiation and Conflict Management: Many conflicts are characterized by “same old, same old” thinking that locks people into an uncreative viewpoint about how to resolve their differences and difficulties. Learn strategies about how to break out of these situations here.
  11. Behavioral Economics: Some of the most interesting forms of creativity come from learning how to apply the lessons of different disciplines to one another and reconcile their points of view. In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about what psychology says about economic behavior.
  12. Development of Inventions and Creative Ideas: This course grants the opportunity to understand how technical innovations are realized through a combination of sheer creative thought, engineering principles and protections under the law. Students will have an opportunity to learn to synergize various perspectives on technology and creativity.
  13. Managerial Psychology: Creativity is frequently fostered by understanding how people think, including ourselves. This course combines psychology with the principles of management to help see how others’ thought processes relate to how they perform at work.
  14. Technovation Challenge: If you are interested in the idea of innovating with new ideas in technology, you might find this course valuable. It walks students through the process of devising a business plan and pitch for innovative software applications.
  15. Gamification: Gamification is the art of improving productivity and reaching goals by setting out clear boundaries, scores, and milestones the way a game has – thus reproducing the psychological rewards that games create in the players. Ideas in this course have a wide variety of personal and professional applications.