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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
The program delivers a business simulation experience with real-work projects for a holistic and immersive, active-learning program. Participant learning objectives include:
The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by BTS, conducted research and found that two-thirds of corporate executives believe that a lack of business skills and a deficient understanding of how a business operates, inhibits speed in decision-making and achieving strategic priorities. Having a higher level of business acumen enables employees at every level to understand how their own decisions impact the company's profitability and the organization's ability to perform. Take a frontline employee that is dealing with a disgruntled customer. Managing the customer could equate to either losing the customer, a damaged reputation or otherwise. This one incident could affect other employee's engagement, the company's public relations and ultimately its profitability. Successfully increasing the level of business acumen in both managers and employees equips them in connecting their actions with the company outcomes. Business savvy, when coupled with an understanding of how one's decisions and responsibilities contribute to the mission and success of the organization, is a formula for higher-performance.
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:
Business acumen and strategic thinking are key competencies for driving a competitive advantage – especially during increasingly turbulent times.
Business Acumen can be defined as the keenness and ability to understand the overall dynamics of the company's business, financials, operations, market factors, and environment and assimilate this knowledge wisely while compelling others to execute smartly. Leaders with a deeper sense of business astuteness have the ability to see the big picture and are capable of assessing the situation more holistically. Executives with the skillset are able to logically and confidently adapt the company's strategies to achieve favorable outcomes, while short-sighted leaders cripple an organization in the long run.
Theoretically, possessing business acumen translates to understanding the financials, the factors that will impact their market, the competition, economics, operational efficiencies, and predicting the future, while motivating and engaging their workforce.
One of the more nuanced attributes is the capacity to manage ambiguity and be adaptable enough to shift gears comfortably. As speed is of the essence, strategic and critical thinking informed by strong business acumen enables a leader to size up a situation quickly, and make course corrections to overcome a challenge or swiftly seize an opportunity. A high-performing leader is able to consider the impact of extensive and complex business conditions and set a course that engages and inspires employees to not only follow but champion.
One may ask, "doesn't business acumen come from experience?" In short, yes. But what company has the luxury of waiting for their leaders to catch up with high-performance via the passage of time. Patience is a virtue - not a development strategy! An effective and strategic Human Resources leader advocates for development programs that will quicken mastery through active-learning workshops, mentoring, personal and peer-to-peer coaching, and business simulation. In a simulation, for example, managers are able to make bad decisions without affecting the business. These failures are brilliant learning experiences. We remember these lessons and use our mistakes to inform future decisions. By structuring a training program that will force leaders to think critically and even set them up to experience a few failures, companies can build business acumen competency within their workforce. You can literally create a safe environment where business keenness has a chance to flourish and leaders have a chance to test their skills and experiment with decision-making.
Quality decision making, business sagacity, and astute analysis can be intentionally developed. When the research shows that most managers and leaders believe they understand the business while those same leaders believe their peers do not, we have an issue. An unskilled leader doesn't understand the business, is not knowledgeable about policies, trends, technology, and the factors that affect the organization. They may know who the competition is, but don't grasp why studying what they do and how they do it matters. They undervalue strategy and remain predominantly focused on the tactical, and while they may be high-performing technically, they will surely underperform as a leader, as an astute strategy is a difference that creates longevity.
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.
Business acumen competencies correlate to business success. Executives and leaders who actively develop critical thinking skills make better and more effective decisions in relation to employees, processes and market factors. These strategically aligned decisions, in turn, affect the organization's viability and employee engagement. Adaptation and modification of organizational initiatives are more efficient, and managers are better equipped to self-initiate cost-saving opportunities. Business acumen training fosters a competitive advantage, positively affects profitability, and cultivates a culture where leaders are encouraged to bring their most competent selves to work each day. A business-savvy leader is capable of understanding the different factors that affect the organization and can successfully implement and execute initiatives that matter.
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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.