Business acumen learning initiatives can make a significant difference in the long-term viability and profitability of a company. Our programs provide interactive learning opportunities that go beyond traditional training. We provide leaders with a cutting edge, learning experience whereby they get to build business cases, engage in productive conflict and negotiations and actually work with frameworks and tools that build up their strategic and critical thinking skills.
Evaluating strategic planning firms? Our proven, data-driven strategic planning and strategic alignment program fosters your team's business acumen and facilitates a roadmap for business growth. Call us at 281-469-4244 or visit our Strategic Management & Strategic Planning Retreat page to learn more.
Our customized Business Acumen & Strategic Thinking for Managers program focuses upon developing critical thinking and planning competency, strategic agility, financial and commercial acumen, and strategic management competencies via a customized, simulation-like experience. We believe our program is better than a cookie-cutter business simulation competition, as the projects are company-selected and relevant to your strategic priorities.
The program combines learning with real work projects to produce strategic solutions while developing your team’s business, financial, and commercial acumen via business strategy simulation. As the cohort works collaboratively, through real business problems, the program improves your managers and/or HiPos’ leadership, collaboration, and teamwork skills.
Some of our clients are looking for a program for their executive or business unit leadership team. If you are seeking a strategic planning retreat or strategic planning consulting firm, please see our strategic growth planning and strategic alignment program here.
An effective Leadership Development program has three primary development categories:
For Phase 3: Leading in Business - the focus is on Business Acumen and Critical Thinking Skills.
While the final competency development objectives will be determined through the customization process of each business simulation training program and dependent upon the logistics and scope of the program, a comprehensive Business Acumen & Strategy Execution training focuses on the following business and strategic competencies:
Looking for Public Seminars? We regret that we do not offer public seminars at this time. We do, however, have expert coaches who assist individuals in building their business acumen, and critical thinking skills. Please inquire.
Our business-savvy and strategy for managers programs are most effective when participants have some management experience or after they have participated in foundational management training including interpersonal effectiveness and supervisory skills.
Our Business simulation competition - commercial acumen training program uses experiential learning opportunities, customized cohort work projects, collaboration between peers and mentors, business case development and capstone project presentations (a la Shark Tank presentations) to drive development and learning retention.
A recent study featuring British Petroleum Chief Executives found that business acumen can be cultivated but it demands intense mental activity with several practices considered critical. Global competition has forced every organization to re-think their operational strategy and presents leaders with the challenge of evaluating business systems, operational processes, the company's profit model, all while driving results on a daily basis.
Shockingly, according to Kaplan and Norton (2005), 95% of leaders do not understand their company's strategy. While most people understand their job, study after study demonstrates that the majority of leaders don't understand the business of their business. Leaders must understand how they impact the bottom-line and business acumen skills are key – without business savvy, leaders will struggle to make a meaningful impact on business results
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.
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:
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:
Here's a sample time-line of events for our best-practice approach to the training:
Peter Senge author of The Fifth Discipline, suggests five "component technologies" which include systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning, as the key components for building a learning organization. These components are true for building business acumen as well. In his book, P. Senge describes a learning organization as "... where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together."
A leader's business acumen grows naturally as they experience and process through each component technology over time (assuming the organization provides those opportunities). However, what organization has the luxury of time to allow leaders to slowly simmer into competence?
Unfortunately, a typical workshop, wherein a trained expert shares theories and concepts around business acumen falls short of actually engaging the neurons required for learning how to think strategically and critically around a business growth strategy or how to overcome business challenges.
An article from People Matters (2017) reports that 65% of managers feel that they have reached their business acumen limit. Reached their limit? Does this mean they believe they are experts in the business acumen arena? Unfortunately, this flies in the face of the other research (BTS and the Economist Intelligence Unit, for example) that revealed 2 out of 3 executives believe their team lacks business acumen competency.
It is thus essential that organizations prioritize the development of their managers through business acumen training and/or a strategy for managers program, to ensure misplaced confidence isn't left unaddressed. A manager who is fully equipped with the following business acumen traits will, in fact, understand how they contribute to the bottom line and thus, be more deliberate and effective in their contributions.
Strategic perspective – the ability to recognize the current strengths and weaknesses of the business, its critical interdependencies, and the short- and long-term impacts of decisions made.
Financial acumen – the ability to determine the key investments that drive progress, productivity and cash flow and utilize financial statements to inform business decisions.
Market orientation – the ability to demonstrate discernment on current macroeconomic trends and synthesize market and business competitor data; And, the ability to understand the customer's needs and how to create a competitive advantage while effectively meeting those needs.
Leadership and teamwork – the ability to deliver business results through others; the capacity to foster alignment, commitment, collaboration, and a unified vision.
In an increasingly challenging marketplace, it is important for companies to enable employees at all levels to understand how the business works, and how their role impacts the business.
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:
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:
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.
Leaders at all levels need a high level of business acumen to be able to efficiently perform their jobs. Every day, they make decisions about employees, projects, processes, expenditures, customers and much more — decisions that ultimately roll up into larger organizational results. Managers who make these decisions through a myopic lens will fall short of operational excellence at best and damage a company at worst. On the other hand, managers who can think strategically and make quality decisions using sound business acumen significantly bolster a company's profitability and long-term viability.
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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.