Today's volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) - world of business presents demanding obstacles organizations and leaders must overcome to achieve organizational priorities. Business Acumen, an imperative competency, has been identified by leaders and talent development professionals as a key driver for addressing our VUCA world challenges. Historically, business acumen competencies were reserved for the CEO and in some cases, the C-Suite. However, recent years have proven that organizations that develop business acumen throughout the lower and mid-levels of the organization ensure an important, competitive advantage.
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:
A recent study from BTS and the Economist Intelligence Unit titled, Skills Mismatch: Business Acumen and Strategy Execution, based on a global survey of over three hundred executives, senior leaders and managers, across multiple industries and around the globe, overwhelmingly agree that insufficient business skills limit an organization's ability to realize strategic priorities. The study revealed two-thirds (over 65%) of corporate executives believe a lack of business skills, including business acumen, critical thinking, financial acumen, business case analysis, etc. inhibit their company from achieving strategic priorities.
Furthermore, the study revealed that the industry leaders, the strongest and most profitable organizations, contributed their success to business acumen competency. Within these organizations, this was viewed as critical and thus they actively developed leaders to be capable of understanding business analytics. This included programs to develop managers with targeted training and learning opportunities to cultivate their strategic thinking, critical thinking, financial acumen, and quality decision-making skills.
The report indicated that an effective business acumen training program must include both internal and external perspectives, including how to lead the business, business decision making capability, customer centricity, how to lead the value chain, and innovation, to name a few learning objectives. Overall a comprehensive understanding of the business, how it creates value and maintains profitability. Many organizations take this skill for granted when in fact, business acumen matter at all management levels of an organization.
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:
While most employees understand their technical and tactical job, studies have shown they fail to understand the business of the business. It's critical employees develop the ability to see the big picture, understand business drivers, understand how the work they do and the decisions they make impact the bottom-line, and be equipped to make decisions aligned with the strategic goals of the company.
Leaders must be able to piece together, quickly, complex factors, some, to the untrained eye, may even seem insignificant, to craft a composite perspective. Critical thinking skills enable the leader to consider the economic, environmental, regulatory, historical, competitive, financial, and other factors influencing the business. The ability to understand the compound effect of disparate factors and not get bogged down in a sea of ambiguity is a skill that can be developed. It's a difficult prospect for many, to make quality decisions and make them quickly, without knowing, with certainty, all the facts. However, there will never be a time when a leader has a crystal ball and thus, they must be able to quickly and strategically think through options and with well-trained instincts make wise decisions.
Leaders who have developed business acumen will be more efficient and effective, as they notice the connections within the workplace and the way different factors affect the success of the whole. Sound business acumen enables leaders to provide a more coordinated and logical response to threats and opportunities as the process of thinking strategically, on a consistent basis, enables them to be nimble, assess quickly, and be less likely to panic in the face of difficulties.
When it comes to developing strong business acumen, a quality training program includes learning opportunities that will expose participants to their own thought process as well as how highly-effective leaders think and manage. A solid strategy for managers' workshop will also provide practice situations to improve their business knowledge, and gain an understanding of the different decision-making styles and thus, enhance their overall management and leadership skills simultaneously.
A better understanding of one's thought processes is essential, as business acumen is heavily focused on thinking and analyzing. High competency includes the ability to understand how the frameworks in which businesses operate. Additionally, having self-awareness about one's decision-making process can boost comprehension of these complex frameworks and how they relate to each other. For example, the ability to think broadly regarding the impact of work processes while consistently looking to build efficiencies, eliminate redundancies, and make work easier for employees, is one of the finer aspects of business acumen competency.
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:
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.
Depending upon the goals and budget, we have programs that will meet almost any logistical requirements including:
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.
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.
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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.