Business Acumen Training & Development Program in Fairfield, CA

Importance of a Business Acuity & Strategy for Managers Program in the Fairfield area

Businesses are challenged more and more by the uncertainty of their immediate and extended environment. While data-analytics become increasing popular and more readily available as a business strategy tool, many managers are ill-equipped to utilize the data to make quality decisions or to overcome business challenges. When polled nearly 65% of leaders believe they are competent and possess business acumen while 66% believe their peers do not. Do you know which one of these contradictory beliefs is accurate? I'll give you a hint - the rest of the research indicates that most managers and many leaders have never had the opportunity to fully develop their business acumen.

Looking for a strategic planning consultant? Our evidence-based and research-backed strategic planning and strategic alignment workshop grows business acumen while producing a strategic plan your team can get excited about. Call us at 281-469-4244 or visit our Strategic Planning Process firm 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.

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

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.

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

In light of the ever-changing global challenges and market complexities that enterprises face today, business acumen has become an essential commodity for every employee, and especially for managers. Today, the right dose of business acumen becomes the most important tool for ensuring effective business strategy and enabling the organizations' viability and profitability.

Business acumen is the building block of a strong enterprise. The ability to think strategically, and consider carefully the market, industry, people resources, and process challenges quickly and efficiently, in order to properly assess and make informed decisions is an important skillset. A highly competent leader is able to have both near and far-sighted perspective, and juxtapose those perspectives with the most critical priorities of the day. This means efficacious managers are not only effectively managing and motivating their team to get things done today, but they are also constantly on the lookout for process breakdowns and opportunities for improvement. They have an acute sense of the cost of inefficiencies and an appropriate sense of urgency. They feel compelled to challenge the status quo and improve costs, and improve the abilities of their subordinates to do their job effectively. Employees with stronger business sense are able to juggle big-picture thinking and communicate how each subordinate's role contributes to the success of the organization; ever mindful of how current actions or inactions predict the company's future.

A comprehensive learning and development strategy includes three foundational learning courses, including understanding self, understanding others, and understanding business. A productive leadership development program includes understanding self and how an employee's style tendencies influence how they lead; understanding others which focuses upon enabling leaders to comprehend what makes others tick and how to adapt their style for greater productivity; and, leading in business which includes strategic and critical thinking, and business and financial acumen.

The most compelling strategy will no doubt begin with the learning and development of the business basics. The development and application of business strategy is a combination of the acumen that you gain through knowledge in sync with the variety of information tools at your disposal. Different methodologies, many unique elements of strategic thinking and detailed planning help you to completely grasp the nuances of running a business effectively.

Strategic thinking, for example, is not an innate skill set. Unfortunately, it's often left to chance and sub-par, misaligned and poor execution is the result. Financial Acumen is also a crucial skill and yet, rarely do companies take the time to properly develop their manager's ability to read proformas. Imagine for a moment that you didn't quite understand what the numbers on the P&L really meant but you believe all of your peers do. Are you going to raise your hand and risk humiliation and your credibility and ask how these numbers inform the strategy? No way. We've met countless executives that fail to consider the financial data and none of them would ever admit it's because they were never really taught to be more skilled in the analysis side of their roles. Instead, most believe they have the chops to make decisions without understanding the numbers!

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.
 

Business acumen can and must be developed, despite the complexity of teaching it, for a business to thrive. Luckily, business acumen does not have to be an innate characteristic but instead is a skillset that can be learned. Remember, managers with strong business acumen are better equipped to lead their company to sustainable growth and drive meaningful results.

@ 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.