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How Studying An MBA Will Enhance Your Innovation Skills

Innovation skills encompass an open-mindset, communication, and understanding the needs of society—and are key for anyone in business today

By  Charlotte Brook

Mon Jan 23 2023

BusinessBecause
In today’s business world, innovation is essential to remain competitive. 

Faced with increasing unpredictability, ever-growing digitalization, and the pressing need to implement sustainable practices, businesses across the world must adjust their models and adapt to a fast-changing environment.  

If you’re looking to launch a career in this rapidly evolving business landscape, an MBA can offer you the innovative skillset to face the challenges head on. Here’s how. 


The MBA environment fosters an innovative mindset

Innovation is a risky business; true innovators are often used to failure. However, studying an MBA gives you the unique opportunity to test ideas in a safe environment and gain a keener understanding of what works. 

For Rong Chen, a student in the Global MBA at Zhejiang University School of Management, this is helping him develop an innovative mindset. 

“Companies often take risks which don’t always pay off, so learning from their mistakes in case studies is better preparing me to innovate successfully in my own career,” he explains.  

Previously, Rong worked within the real estate sector in Boston, USA, however he decided to study at Zhejiang due to the school’s strong focus on innovation. 

The Zhejiang Global MBA curriculum focuses on digitalization, innovation, and global competence. It teaches courses such as ‘Corporate Innovation and Strategy for Carbon Neutrality,’ ‘Technology Innovation,’ and ‘Brand Management in the Digital Age.’

Rong was also attracted to the chance of immersing himself in the city of Hangzhou, an innovation and entrepreneurial hub often referred to as ‘China’s Silicon Valley.’  

Hangzhou is home to 37 unicorn companies—privately owned companies worth more than $1 billion—as well as the headquarters of Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce platform. 

A hotbed for global innovative talent, Hangzhou hosts an annual Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition to bring more startups to the booming innovation sphere and become a leader of China’s digital economy. 

“I’m excited to get to know more of the city and see what opportunities it has to offer when I graduate,” says Rong. 


An MBA provides a global perspective 

The global business world moves at a rapid pace. To keep up with the competition, you first need to understand how they think and innovate.

For Rong, choosing the Zhejiang Global MBA has opened him up to new perspectives that challenge his ways of thinking while enhancing his cross-cultural communication skills.

During the Global MBA program, you’ll study courses such as ‘International Business’ which invites industry professionals from different cultures to give insights into business practice in their countries, and ‘Cross Cultural Management.’ 

The Zhejiang University Global MBA also welcomes both professors and students from all over the world. 

“Every course I work with new classmates from the US, Australia, or Europe and we all bring different ideas to the table—sometimes this can cause a debate,” Rong adds, “but this is how we learn to become more innovative and create something effective.

“It’s very hard to be innovative without being globalized.” 


MBAs provide innovation skills the business world needs 

Innovation in business may involve a degree of risk-taking, but it should also be closely informed by competition and the market.  

“It’s important to have the right innovation at the right time and respond to what society needs, otherwise it’s difficult to be successful,” says Rong. 

Amid global shifts towards digitalization and sustainability, technological advancements and climate concerns are the driving force behind business innovation right now. 

Rong says that Zhejiang’s ‘Macro Economy and Government Policy’ course has informed him of many policies and trends that businesses are now working towards, such as carbon neutrality and green strategies. 

The program has also given him the opportunity to work with Chinese green building integration manufacturing company, Tranvic Group, as it shifts towards sustainable practices whilst maintaining productivity and profit.

“Learning about innovation in these real-life cases—as well as during courses on the program—gives the opportunity to analyze what is going on in the business world right now and see what is working,” he says. 

Rong has also secured an internship with Tranvic Group for the summer. 

Exploring innovation through the lens of sustainability has inspired Rong to launch his own venture one day. He aims to specialize in helping companies make the transition towards sustainable business models. 

“Innovation is about taking an idea and making it into something that will make society better and move it to the next stage,” he says. “Every contribution to this, no matter how small or large, can be seen as innovation.”