Rapid change is occurring in every aspect of our lives and this has naturally led to many adaptations in business and how successful organizations survive and thrive. The speed at which change is happening can be alarming and savvy, nimble businesses realize they must rapidly modify their strategies and goals to match the changing marketplace. Unfortunately, the gap between employee technical knowledge and the more elusive but required business knowledge has not kept pace with the changes in the marketplace. Particularly, business acumen is a critical capability most lacking in employees and managers across the board.
Searching for a strategic planning consultant? Our research-backed, data-driven strategic alignment program builds business acumen and strategic management skills, while clarifying your company/business unit or non-profit's most critical priorities. Learn more about our strategic planning retreat here or call us to inquire: 281-469-4244
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.
Research from The Chartered Institute of Management Accounting shows that senior managers are battling with basic leadership and decision-making. Their research reported 72% of companies admitted to at least one failure of company strategies over the last three years, with 42% of leaders saying their organization had lost their competitive advantage in the most recent year as a result of being indecisive.
Indecisiveness is a symptom of deficient business acumen, critical thinking capacity, and strategic foresight. While executives may have solid capacity to perform their utilitarian role, many do not have the necessary competence for quality decision making, especially as the pace of change accelerates with every passing year.
Even when a company has a strong and well-communicated plan, managers often fail to align their team's tasks with the priorities of the business. Managers will make decisions based on their current level of business savvy or more likely, take the fast win by dealing only with the squeaky-wheel of the moment, as the real impact of their decisions does not weigh heavily enough on managers who are non-strategic.
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 is not simply knowing how to read the numbers, but being able to interpret the numbers to make sound business decisions aligned with company goals. Similarly, it's one thing to know the score of a basketball game, and quite another to understand each player's strengths and weaknesses, the statistics, and environmental factors the coaches study to inform their strategy.
Asking the questions, "How do we cut costs?" or "How do we increase sales?" is not enough. Business acumen helps employees understand they must dig deeper and take into consideration the potential impact of decisions and actions. There's an acute awareness that every decision impacts performance. Organizations need managers that are capable of sizing up problems while seeing the bigger picture and thus, marry decisions to the organizational goals. Unfortunately, business acumen is not an inherent skill, nor is it a trait consistently imparted with an MBA, as skilled leaders gain business savvy through practice, application and real-world experience. With the pace of change quickening, companies must proactively develop employees' business sense, instead of patiently hoping their team will gain the skill over time. To address this concern, many organizations have integrated financial literacy and business acumen as managerial competency requirements and offer management development curriculum that instills these skills.
One aspect of Business Acumen is financial literacy, but as indicated above, it is not simply knowing how to read the numbers, but being able to interpret and think strategically about how the numbers inform the business. Financial acumen, one of a handful of business discernment skills taught in a good business acumen training program, is the skill set of knowing how to read a balance sheet, profit, and loss statements and financial projections to make sound business decisions. However, it's also balancing the goal of profitability (fund-raising or cost management for nonprofits / governmental entities) with the company's strategic priorities and organizational values. Thus, there's more to reading a financial statement than meets the untrained eye. Skipping to the profit line is not enough to qualify as sufficient critical thinking. When a leader has spent time developing thinking skills, they are better equipped to formulate strategies that will positively affect the long term viability of the organization.
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 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.
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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.