Analytical or Creative Management

Think a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is your only choice if you’re looking to position yourself for a successful career in business? Think again. In fact, another degree is coming on strong with many aspiring future business leaders: The Master in Management (MIM). Forbes recently heralded the “rise and rise” of this up and coming MBA alternative for its win-win potential for “bachelor’s graduates who are keen to differentiate themselves, and with recruiters who want to hire young managers with greater maturity and a global mindset.”

But choosing to do an MIM is just the start. Your next decision? Whether to focus on the analytical or the innovation side? Here’s a closer look at the difference between the two, along with a “best of both worlds” option.

The Importance of Analytics

We are living in a data-centric world. It follows that managers with the ability to leverage this data into actionable insights will be increasingly in demand moving forward.

A MIM with a specialization in data science helps students hone analytical capabilities across a number of different measures, including breaking down problems into solvable, smaller parts; gathering and evaluating information (AKA “information literacy”) which enables the ability to sort through and prioritize information; effectively massive — and growing — quantities of information; generating and assessing alternatives and solutions; and comprehending and implementing difficult concepts and putting them into action.

Specifically, these skills can help business managers effectively and accurately define problems; reduce cognitive bias and support high-quality strategy development; support quality assurance and improvement; document work and processes toward further analysis; setting and following through on goals; and learning new skills in order to adapt to rising challenges in the workplace.

In its recent report, “The Analytics Advantage: We’re Just Getting Started,” Deloitte urges forward thinking companies to start acquiring talent in this field immediately. “It’s clear that talent for analytics and big data is already in short supply, and the shortage will become even more pronounced over time. In the survey, access to talent was listed as one of the greatest barriers to building analytical capability.” The takeaway? Focusing your MIM on analytics and data science is a smart way to make your resume irresistible to employers.

The Importance of Innovation

The contemporary business landscape isn’t a stagnant pool; rather, it’s more like an unpredictable rushing rapid in which those at the helm must be able to anticipate what’s coming around the next bend, along with what tools they’ll need to navigate the waters. Says Harvard Business Review, “Creativity has always been at the heart of business, but until now it hasn’t been at the top of the management agenda.”

Echoes Digital Marketing Expert Scott MacFarland for Huffington Post, “Every business must innovate to compete. They must create new products and services for new markets. They must be creative, and come up with new ideas that never would have been thought of before. This is the new management paradigm….The proven management tools, techniques and clichés once embraced, are being challenged and shelved for a new set of rules and a new way of doing business. The management style of the future is no longer command and control. That ship has sailed. Today, in order for businesses to succeed, management must trust in the technologies and open leadership styles that are sweeping boardrooms, the C-suite, office suites and cubicles everywhere.”

InnovationManagement.se (IM) points to three main skill pathways essential to innovation: thinking, including constructing creativity and problem-solving skills; talking, including the vital skills of communicating and collaborating; and doing, the process of building something and bringing it to market. In other words, while innovation is a mindset, it’s also a process — one which can be taught and nurtured. Enter the MIM.