Strengthen Leadership with Business Acumen Training in Charlotte, NC

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

Business Acumen, like charisma or executive presence, is not easy to define, but unlike charisma, a lack of business acumen can destroy an organization's ability to succeed. Fortunately, through effective business acumen training, employees can develop critical and strategic thinking skills and the financial acumen required to effectively manage the business.

Also known as business savvy and business sense, business acumen is demonstrated in one's incisive capacity to comprehend a business situation and swiftly make quality business decisions.

Need a strategic planning process that facilitates strategic alignment and business growth clarity? Our data-driven, research-backed strategic planning workshop builds business acumen while driving out team alignment and a prioritized action plan. Call us at 281-469-4244 or visit our strategic planning retreat page to learn more.

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.


The learning objectives for the program include:

  • 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 Martin Luendock, Co-founder of, a site dedicated to helping job-seekers find their dream job, people with strong business acumen skills are able to produce business frameworks to help identify and analyze important factors that will influence the successful execution of a strategy. The substance of business acumen is the ability to determine the strength of an organization's strategies and the viability of a business construct.

Furthermore, according to the business magazine, Financial Times, "business acumen is keenness and speed in understanding and deciding on a business situation." But, how does one develop their ability to have "keenness and speed" in understanding business situations?

What's interesting is the Financial Times survey also found that the five most important skills employers want from MBA students, are not core MBA subjects. For example, employers want employees who are not only good at time management but have the ability to prioritize (two very different skills.) They also want employees who can understand the impact of technology on their business and the ability to solve complex problems. These are thinking skills, which are difficult to learn in a non-business environment.

When / Important Logistics / Important facts for ensuring success

In John Maxwell’s best-seller, The 12 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he explains the law of the lid. This law states that an organization will only rise to the level of competency of its’ leadership. High-performing leadership teams master the soft-skills of interpersonal effectiveness, the hard skills of analytics and finance, and the nuanced intricacies of business acumen. Organizations that provide development opportunities in all three areas, raise the lid!

What are the logistics and delivery formats of the program?

Our programs are infinitely flexible. We custom-design each program to be the right fit for your organization, goals, and budget. For some organizations, that means a “lunch and learn” or virtual, instructor-led training to introduce the concepts of business acumen. For other companies, the need to build their team’s business acumen skills is more urgent and a more comprehensive, skill development approach is available.

Our premiere program includes:

  • Facilitated stakeholder meetings to identify the company-specific goals and capstone projects
  • Business case development coaching
  • Real work-projects for business-case preparations and shark-tank-like presentations to the executive team and/or the board of directors
  • Active-learning workshops - typically two full days plus half-day sessions over the course of the development program (12 to 18 months)
  • Group coaching with each cohort group by an experienced management consultant and executive coach
  • Facilitated project meetings
  • Internal mentors following well-defined rules to ensure fairness across all teams
  • Business case presentations in a shark tank type session

Leading in business workshops

What is business acumen? Simply put, business acumen is the ability to keenly understand the company's business strategy, the financial metrics, the external and internal factors influencing success and the ability to make quality decisions that align with the organization's best interest. Acute critical thinking and business insight, means leaders are equipped to discern and implement the necessary changes to achieve the goals of any business initiative. What we have learned is that an employee with a high level of business acumen can see the "big picture;" And, how the various factors from processes and technology to employee decisions and regulations are inseparably intertwined with a company's ability to accomplish its goals. Having a deep sense of business acumen allows employees to extract relevant and important data and to decide the appropriate course of action. This will naturally lead to improved results, more meaningful engagement within the organization and a stronger impulse to be a part of the company's success.

We have also learned that an employees' lack of business knowledge and business education show a direct correlation to organizational deficiencies. Companies fail when employees struggle to fully understand the company's vision and strategic priorities and how to apply critical thinking skills to their roles and responsibilities. This failure to think critically and creatively, or analyze the financial impact of a decision, results in poor execution, and an inability to implement business strategies efficiently. Ultimately, the inefficient implementation of business strategies further increases company misalignment and disarray.

This pattern can be changed with the development of critical and strategic thinking training, business and financial acumen development, and by developing your leader's ability to conduct proper business case analysis, both in-depth and in-the-moment. Business acumen is an essential skill for effective leadership teams to possess. With the fast pace of the changing business environment, it is more critical now than ever, for employees to develop a higher level of business acumen. When a manager is empowered with business acumen training, the manager's confidence grows along with their ability to analyze, think creatively, and make sound business decisions. It is this more elusive skill set of critical thinking that enables an organization to be more nimble and adapt to changes quickly.

Business acumen is not an innate skill. Luckily, it is something that can be developed. And, while some people may grasp the concept easier than others, depending on their personal experience, others may just take more time to master the skill. There are many approaches to developing business acumen, including coaching, mentoring, and on-the-job training, and the most effective method is experiential learning and business simulations. The latter two approaches, when thoughtfully designed, provide a customized learning experience that is also immediately applicable to the real-world needs of the company. Finally, business acumen training programs enable your managers to contribute to the company's strategic priorities, develop keen insights into how the company can avoid costly mistakes, and foster a culture more inclined to innovate than stagnate.

The Training Problem

All training isn't the same; one size doesn't fit all. This is especially true for Business Acumen training. While the wisdom of training and coaching isn't disputed, for a business acumen training program to have a lasting impact, there are important attributes to consider including:

business acumen training program  components
  • Change management components
  • Real-world business simulations and work-projects
  • Subject matter experts to inform and mentor participants
  • Practical methodologies for learning about lateral and vertical thinking models
  • Top-down support and follow-through to 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

Our business acumen training program is designed specifically to be a strategic fit; meaning our proven curriculum serves as the foundational content that is customized to be relevant for your business, industry and strategic priorities.

Logistics - What is the format for the Customized Business Acumen Programs?

Depending upon the goals and budget, we have programs that will meet almost any logistical requirements including:

  • Lunch-and-learns and brown-bag learning programs
  • Half-day to two-day programs
  • Virtual instructor-led training (vILT) (interactive, realtime online training)
  • We have on-site/off-site workshops (no public seminars available at this time)
  • Comprehensive change and development programs include a variety of the above formats plus team coaching, mentors, e-learning options, and a la carte components.

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.

See also our Strategic and Critical Thinking and Business/Commercial Acumen Training FAQ’s here.

While the pace of change quickens, and more businesses struggle with adapting their services to meet the ever-changing demands of the marketplace, companies that proactively develop their leaders' business acumen with a strategy for managers program find that the development of a competent and strategic management team is an investment in the company's success.

@ Directly email our local business acumen trainings leader and get a complimentary consultation:

We will call you or send a reply usually in 24 hours.
Privacy Policy

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.