Business Acumen Training & Strategy for Managers in Carrollton, TX

A Guide to Understanding Business Acumen & Strategy for Managers in the Carrollton area

Today's volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) - world of business presents demanding obstacles organizations and leaders must overcome to achieve organizational priorities. Business Acumen, an imperative competency, has been identified by leaders and talent development professionals as a key driver for addressing our VUCA world challenges. Historically, business acumen competencies were reserved for the CEO and in some cases, the C-Suite. However, recent years have proven that organizations that develop business acumen throughout the lower and mid-levels of the organization ensure an important, competitive advantage.

Who would benefit from the training?

TurnKey Coaching & Development Solutions’ customized Business Acumen & Strategic Thinking for Managers programs combine learning with real work projects to produce strategic solutions while developing your team’s business and commercial acumen. The training focuses upon developing strategic thinking and planning competency, strategic agility, financial and business acumen and more through a customized, business simulation competition experience.

Business Acumen & Strategic Thinking for Managers

Alternatively, our data-driven strategic alignment program builds business acumen while fostering alignment and commitment to a common vision. We also have a unique strategic alignment (similar to strategic planning) workshop that uses research-backed tools to drive out leadership’s priorities and the path forward, while cultivating a unified vision and business acumen. For more on our Strategic Growth Consulting and X-Ray program, please visit here.


Brochure for the Business Acumen Training Program


As the cohort works collaboratively, through real business problems, the program improves your managers and/or HiPos’ leadership, collaboration, and teamwork skills. We believe it’s better than business simulation competition for your team, as all of the projects are selected to specifically solve company identified challenges.

An effective leadership development program includes competency development opportunities in three areas - Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading in Business.

Our business strategy simulation and business acumen program can be optioned alone, or as part of a more comprehensive approach to leadership development. When optioned as part of a builds upon foundational competency development including interpersonal effectiveness and managing and motivating a team, for example. Our comprehensive leadership development program builds over time through phase 1 (leading self), phase 2 (leading others) and finally, phase 3 (leading in business).

Comprehensive leadership  development training

How does it work?

Our Leading in Business Training focuses on Business Acumen Skills through experiential learning opportunities (better than business simulation training), customized cohort work projects, the collaboration between peers and mentors, business case development and capstone project presentations (a la Shark Tank presentations).

Note: Our programs are facilitated on or off-site for organizations. We do not offer public seminars at this time. While we have speakers and trainers that are available to facilitate and speak at public engagements, we do not offer public seminars.

Objectives

The learning objectives for the program include:

Organizational
  • Strategic human resource development
  • Align development with the Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Increased competency
  • Business competency development designed to impact the bottom-line
  • Team projects with tangible strategic impact on the business
  • Direct observational opportunities between executives, board members, and high-potential employees in support of future leader identification and succession planning
  • Development aligned with strategic priorities
At the Cohort Level
  • Encourage participants to routinize the sharing of best management practices
  • Expose leaders to cross-functional problem solving with minimal risk to the business
  • Build alliances across functions that can develop into concrete linkages for future collaboration
  • Healthy competition and collaboration, a la “Shark Tank” type challenge and capstone projects
At the Individual Level

The program delivers a business simulation experience with real-work projects for a holistic and immersive, active-learning program. Participant learning objectives include:

  • Develop strategic and critical thinking skills
  • Develop quality decision-making skills
  • Learn how to make a business case
  • Gain an understanding of all areas of a business’ operations
  • Ensure foundational confidence in financial analysis competency
  • Comprehend the importance of strategic agility
  • Build financial acumen and budgeting skills
  • Develop the ability to ask questions that generate new thinking and solutions
  • Set effective team goals
  • Practice negotiation and influence skills
  • Develop insight into the interconnectedness of business functions and operations
  • Collaborate with their team to establish plans
  • Presentation skills development
  • Evaluate and Improve work processes
  • Align organizational systems
  • Engage in systems thinking and a continuous improvement focus
  • Develop risk management skills
  • Understand the builder mindset vs. the protector mindset


leadership development program brochure

According to a handful of research papers and CEO interviews, over 65% of leaders surveyed said that a lack of strong business acumen amongst their leaders was a significant impediment to their success. Misalignment, poor fulfillment, and profit deficits are the result of deficient business knowledge, and this is particularly troubling considering most leaders do not see their own business acumen deficiencies. While business acumen shortfalls erode a company’s ability to achieve outcomes, the truth is these skills can and should be developed with proper training. Employees who are not provided opportunities to understand the importance of thinking critically and who are not skilled at business know-how have a difficult time effectively aligning their individual contributions to the company goals. More often than not, employees fail to understand company goals and business strategies thereby failing to properly implement them, while simultaneously believing they are performing well. On the other hand, Leaders and employees with strong business savvy understand the correlation between day to day decisions and achieving company goals. Additionally, mid-level managers and frontline employees that are able to think critically and birth solutions that are aligned with corporate strategies are invaluable assets. When leaders and employees have a deeper understanding of ”the business of the business” organizations can be more confident in pursuing innovations, new markets, and bolder endeavors, because the foundation of the company is competent and committed to organizational success. According to a handful of research papers and CEO interviews, over 65% of leaders surveyed said that a lack of strong business acumen amongst their leaders was a significant impediment to their success.

Misalignment, poor fulfillment, and profit deficits are the result of deficient business knowledge, and this is particularly troubling considering most leaders do not see their own business acumen deficiencies. While business acumen shortfalls erode a company's ability to achieve outcomes, the truth is these skills can and should be developed with proper training. Employees who are not provided opportunities to understand the importance of thinking critically and who are not skilled at business know-how have a difficult time effectively aligning their individual contributions to the company goals. More often than not, employees fail to understand company goals and business strategies thereby failing to properly implement them, while simultaneously believing they are performing well. On the other hand, Leaders and employees with strong business savvy understand the correlation between day to day decisions and achieving company goals. Additionally, mid-level managers and frontline employees that are able to think critically and birth solutions that are aligned with corporate strategies are invaluable assets. When leaders and employees have a deeper understanding of "the business of the business" organizations can be more confident in pursuing innovations, new markets, and bolder endeavors, because the foundation of the company is competent and committed to organizational success.

When / Important Logistics / Important facts for ensuring success

Our immersive, business strategy simulation and business simulation competition program leverages active-learning and real-work projects for an effective and results-oriented learning experience.

What are the logistics and delivery formats of the program?

Our programs are infinitely flexible. Each component is custom-designed around your organizational goals and budget.  Programs are available in a variety of formats, including: 

  • Lunch and learns  / Brown-bag learning opportunities
  • 90-minute to half-day introductory sessions
  • Comprehensive programs include full-day to multi-day active-learning training events
  • Development programs (moving employees from skills knowledge to high-performance requires more change and accountability components) typically include a variety of learning events over a period of 12 to 24 months
  • In-Person, on or off-site programs are typically the most effective
  • Virtual, Instructor-Led training is also available

What are the components of the program?

We find that each company or non-profit organization will have very specific goals, budgets, and logistical requirements. Thus, we will not insist on a routine approach. However, we can share that our most effective business-simulation and acumen corporate development programs include: 

  • Stakeholder interviews to uncover the organization's goals
  • Management consulting in support of well-considered and selected work projects (capstone projects)
  • Coaching focused on business-case development related to the company's selected work projects 
  • Cohort groups collaborate on real work-projects and prepare business cases
  • Presentations to the executive team or board of directors
  • The program finale is a fun, engaging and competitive Shark Tank*-like presentation to the company's internal "investors";   
  • Workshops designed using active-learning and adult-learning principles 
  • Training agenda is focused on business, financial, and commercial acumen and is tailored for the industry and specific to your organization (i.e. private/public/non-profit/governmental entity) 
  • Optimal programs include a series of training events. For example, we recommend multi-day, and/or full-day training sessions and bi-monthly half-day sessions focused on the business acumen topics, plus group coaching, internal mentor support, practice presentation sessions, and one-on-one coaching, as needed. 
  • The group coaching is an essential component as each cohort group works with an experienced management consultant and executive coach to build their business cases with relevant feedback and constructive criticism in support of a dynamite presentation at the conclusion of the program.
  • Internally facilitated project meetings to ensure accountability and cross-functional teamwork.  
  • Internal mentors serve as in-house experts and are provided well-defined rules of engagement that ensure fairness across all teams. Tip: Mentors cannot do the work!  
  • The final business case presentations culminate in a memorable and exciting conclusion and celebration. 

Here's a sample time-line of events for our best-practice approach to the training:

Leading in business workshops

What sets effective leaders and high-potential employees apart from others? Why are some employees more likely to make intelligent decisions than others? And, how do some supervisors skyrocket their careers, while others never move up? After technical competence, and effective influence and interpersonal skills, the answer is business acumen and strategic thinking competency.

Business and financial acumen, strategic and critical thinking, analytical thinking and complex problem solving, and the ability to make a compelling business case are skills that can predictably forecast an organization's success. Unfortunately, most company's reserve business acumen expectations for their C-Suite. They fail to cultivate an environment whereby managers, at all levels, are inspired and encouraged to think critically about how their actions impact the bottom-line, let alone ponder deeply how they might improve a process, or save the company money with a simple change or innovative idea.

Leaders who are skilled and possess business acumen demonstrate an acute sense of how business works and an even deeper understanding of how their business (company/organization) works. They are knowledgeable and informed about current policies and pending regulatory changes. They stay abreast of industry trends and pay attention to economic, political, environmental and even social factors that may affect the business. Furthermore, they know the competition and study the innovators, always considering how they may contribute to their role and the company with a complimentary idea or innovation. They seek to be skilled and knowledgeable of how different strategies, tactics, and technology is impacting the marketplace.

Do your leaders and high-potential employees understand the company's business strategies? Do they really understand the financial, customer, marketplace, competition, and employee components? How often do your managers engage in a collaborative, strategically focused conversation that they self-initiate? Have you offered a business acumen workshop or strategy for managers training program that engages them in real-word business simulations and/or business-case-building opportunities?

A well-designed "leading in business" program will enable leaders to make quality business decisions with confidence, and ensure your succession plan includes a strong bench of ready-now "business-minded" leaders.

Experienced, self-aware CEOs and Executive Directors, know that if all decisions must come from them, the business is doomed, as year-over-year growth cannot be obtained when there's a singular source of directives. When a team of executives guard the strategic plan and hold the keys to all strategic-thinking in the organization, they cripple the company's ability to grow, adapt, and innovate. There's more to a strategic plan than documentation and data visualization. A strong strategic plan is intentionally cascaded throughout the organization, inviting every employee to consider how they can strategically contribute to the goals. When strategic and critical thinking skills are actively developed, employees begin to think in terms of how their actions either make the company money or save the company money; how their decisions either ensure a safe place to work or increase the likelihood of an injury; how their behaviors either encourage a great place to share ideas or a terrible place to work.

Learning and development managers who build strong business acumen and strategic thinking for managers course or training program, enable leaders to grow and drive business results through sound, quality decision making.

The Training Problem

We know that a one size fits all approach to training employees doesn't work. This is particularly true for developing Business Acumen. We will be the first to advocate for coaching and training, as the benefits are well-documented and undisputed. However, for strategic thinking, financial acumen, and some of the more advanced thinking and analytical skills, an effective program may also include:

  • A change management and accountability approach
  • Real work-projects provide immediate opportunities to apply the skills learned in the training sessions  
  • Real-world business simulation-style training  
  • Subject matter experts to inform and mentor participants 
  • A practical approach for learning about lateral and vertical thinking models 
  • Top-down support to foster real buy-in to the program 
  • Accountability check-points ensure engagement and prioritized attention 
  • Performance management protocols and oversight 
  • Quality assurance measures 
  • Coaching to foster integration and skill practice 
  • Peer-to-peer interaction to maximize learning retention and develop additional learning opportunities 
Adult learning

For our business acumen development program we customize our proven curriculum for relevance and alignment with your business, industry and strategic priorities.  Each program is designed to actively engage participants in rich learning experiences and adult-learning best practices.

NOTE: We do not have public training events. While our programs are available for groups only, we do have individual, one-on-one coaching programs for individuals seeking business acumen coaching. Please inquire.

 

Please also see more information on our customized leadership development options:

 

leadership development program brochure

 

Have questions? We have answers. Please also read our Strategic Thinking & Business Acumen Training Frequently Asked Questions here, for the details on our Business Acumen Training and Capstone Project development programs.
 

Learning how to lead a business and develop the business acumen skills to make quality, informed, strategic decisions matters, at all levels of a management team. Insufficient business acumen competency significantly limits an organization's ability to realize and achieve its goals. High performing companies address the business-savvy skill gap by implementing business acumen, finance for non-financial managers, and strategic thinking training programs to build the required competencies.

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Make sure to also check out TurnKey's other services in the city: executive coaching programs, corporate leadership development, leadership team development, programs for emerging leaders and high potentials, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team programs, business retreats, and strategic planning consultations.


Disclaimer: Shark-Tank-Like* We are not associated in any way with the television show. We think it’s an awesome show and use the verbiage “shark-tank-Like” because it accurately describes how our final capstone, business simulation competition, and business strategy simulation presentations are experienced by our clients. SHARK TANK is a trademark of Sony Pictures Television Inc. and is not associated in any way with this company or program.