The Secret to Developing Business Acumen

 In Culture, Individual Leadership, Leadership, Organizational Development, Training

The Secret to Developing Business Acumen

I’ve had the great privilege of working for some tremendous global companies and interacting with those companies’ leaders. A question I frequently received from the executives was how to develop business acumen not only in leaders but in all employees.

“If employees understand how the business makes money, would that lead to measurable results?”

I believe the answer is YES!

Developing business acumen in all employees levels the playing field. It helps everyone in the organization understand the decisions being made by the leaders at all levels.

This competency is a critical quality and skill for employees and leaders alike to develop. Employees and especially leaders make decisions daily, impacting the organization’s operations, reputation, and profitability.

So, what is business acumen?

Before developing business acumen, understanding what the term means is essential. The Financial Times states that it is the “keenness and speed in understanding and deciding on a business situation.”

Or in simpler terms, it is related to understanding how businesses operate. If you have strong business acumen, you know and can explain:

  • How does the organization make money?
  • How and why the organization operates as it does?
  • What are your contributions and role is in the business?
  • What are the thought processes and strategies that go into making decisions about the organization?

Business acumen doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

Business Acumen is a competency most employees and leaders learn through formal training and years of experience on the job.

Designing, developing, and deploying business acumen training is an art and science. My experience with developing others in this competency has been two-fold, either professor-type lectures or excellent simulation-based programs balancing realism with learning objectives aligned to organizational goal attainment.

Now, I love professors. I am one. I teach at a university in their school of business. Sometimes, things can get a little boring, which is why EDGE partnered with the leading business simulation company Celemi.

The Secret?  A Realistic Simulation

Celemi’s in-person and virtual business simulations make complex information easy to understand and accessible. Their business simulations help your employees see how everything fits together. Celemi’s training is designed to be departmental experiences or stand-alone training for anyone in your organization. Further, Celemi’s training is a flexible addition to existing leadership programs.

The heart of Celemi’s simulations’ impact is the program’s ability to introduce finance from various industries’ perspectives, different management levels, and exploration of other business issues.

Celemi and EDGE develop business acumen for everyone in the organization. With many unable to get back to the office for the in-person experience, we now offer a digital version of Apples & Oranges that is so much fun, and the knowledge transfer is just as good.

Want to learn to build this critical business competency in your teams? Reach out to EDGE today.

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