Business acumen, business smarts, business savvy. They all mean the same thing. But what do they really mean? How do you attain it, develop it and teach it? It really comes down to understanding how a business works and reaches its goals. But it isn’t something someone has or doesn’t have. It’s honing several skills and team work that makes it work. While there are individuals with business acumen, it doesn’t usually come naturally. It’s something they have learned.
Planning to Succeed
Business is changing all the time. The way they are set up, the way they are run, the way they make money and the way they stay competitive. The workforce is also changing and that means companies need to continually engage staff, train and educate them. That means having everyone working towards the same goals and objectives. It takes everyone thinking about the company in the same way and how to best reach the end result. That means that everyone, in their own position, all are striving toward the same goal, following the same plan. Everyone needs to understand what the goal is and how they and their position fit into that overall vision.
Benefits of Business Acumen
The biggest benefit is profit. But it’s bigger than that. Strong business acumen benefits all the people involved, from owners and managers to workers and entrepreneurs. It can help your career, your business and your financial status. People with great business acumen have the ability to see the end results and the path to getting there. This vision allows them to be more efficient, better communicators and the ability to see things logically and creatively. Besides the vision, it means you have the ability to understand the business, share your knowledge, talk about the business and make decisions regarding its direction and objectives.
Business Acumen Training
To improve your business acumen, you need to continually be learning. Read everything you can about business and not just related to yours and your interests, but information about all business. They are all related, really. One sector may be flourishing while another area is suffering. This means stock markets, new businesses, what’s trending, technology and everything in between. Understanding how your business makes money is also important. It’s necessary to understand its spending, as well. What goes out and what comes in and what are the barriers and variables there.
Learn what other people in your organization do. Understanding all of the ins and out gives you far greater insight to the day-to-day running of the company. You may want to try on a few of the other jobs, if you haven’t already. It’s helpful if people have climbed the corporate ladder, as they have a fuller understanding of what makes the organization hum. Understand your customers, too. Read reviews about your organization online or the feedback on your website. Read them with an open mind and contact people who make complaints. Whether we are talking about other corporations or individual shoppers, they matter.
Teaching Business Acumen
The gift of strong business acumen is usually acquired, not a natural talent. Teaching business acumen can be very rewarding. One of the best tools for teaching is doing. For business purposes, that means business acumen simulations.
There are workshops where people play a business game. It can be a physical game or virtual simulators. The results are the same. Some of the benefits of business simulation include:
● Getting everyone speaking the same language
● Safe and risk-free
In many workshops, teams compete against each other. The main language is business and finance. People need to learn to work together to achieve the set objectives. Practicing within a business simulation for business acumen training encourages people to speak openly and honestly. While there are books and other information, rolling up your sleeves and being able to dive in is far more beneficial. Practicing in a simulated situation encourages people to open their minds to thinking about things creatively and logically. It takes practice but it can be done. Looking at the longer vision and how to get there is a big part of it. Understanding and recognizing the pitfalls, challenges and unavoidable changes is also vital.
Sharing Your Expertise
Encouraging your company leaders with strong business acumen training (especially using a business acumen training simulation) is a great place to start. They have the insight and the experience to pass on to the next company leaders. Allowing people to get their hands dirty in a simulated situation allows you to see where they need help and where they will succeed. Being able to see problems that may arise and already know how to solve them is something that takes practice. By letting people partake in a business acumen simulation is far more engaging and people more quickly. There is no risk of failure.
It’s a great way to build up the skills people need to be leaders. It involves making decisions, fixing problems, foresight into what can go wrong and think quickly in a crisis. It means seeing the big picture and the thumbnail. Teaching people to share the same vision is vital for the organization. Each role must be valued and acknowledged. Each person knows how and why their part is paramount in reaching the objectives.
Developing your business acumen is great. You also must be able to maintain it. That means never looking away. Staying on top of what is happening locally and globally can have a major effect on your organization. Being able to predict these obstacles is part of what makes your business acumen valuable.
With some practice and the desire to succeed, never stop learning. Learning and sharing the information is key to reaching the goals and objectives set out for the organization.
Communication, staying open to new ideas and staying current with your company will help hone those skills and keep them sharp. In today’s ever-changing business climate, it’s important to know what is going to help and what is going to hinder reaching your goal.