What is business acumen?
Very simply, business acumen is the understanding of what it takes for a business to make money. It includes financial literacy, the understanding of the numbers on financial statements, as well as an understanding of the strategies, decisions and actions that impact those numbers. With financial literacy, you can "read" your company's income statement. With business acumen, you can "interpret" this same income statement, taking into consideration how your company's strategies and initiatives impact the numbers.
Think about this comparison: In football, players need to know how the game is scored and how they play the game to change the score. So in business, financial literacy is understanding the "score" (financial statements) and business acumen is understanding how to impact it (strategic actions and decisions).
More than ever, why is business acumen a key strategy?
When business acumen spreads throughout an organization, people ask the right questions. These questions aren't only directed at the organization, but also at themselves and their department...questions about processes, products, systems, and talent that can lead to innovative decisions and actions.
Business acumen helps everyone understand that it's not enough to ask, "How do we cut costs?" or to say, "We need to increase sales by x percent." Digging deeper, employees with higher levels of business acumen ask questions that consider the big-picture impact of potential decisions. They demonstrate the ability to make connections between what they do, every day on the job, and their impact on the bottom line.
Our award-winning business acumen simulation engages learners through a variety of discovery learning methods. Participants gain a true understanding of what it takes for a business to make money.
Why develop business acumen? Because it's...
- A critical leadership competency for managers. Today's managers are being challenged in unprecedented ways to get results. Increasingly, organizations are incorporating business acumen education into their leadership development programs to equip their managers with the knowledge and skills they need to make a bottom-line impact.
- An important alignment initiative for employees. Every day, the actions and decisions of employees affect the bottom line. With increased business acumen, they understand how departmental objectives and their own jobs fit into the big picture of financial and strategic goals. And that means higher levels of commitment, motivation and alignment.
- A competitive edge for sales professionals. To win new sales and secure long-term customer loyalty, sales executives must credibly and confidently offer products and services within the context of a customer's financial and strategic objectives. The development of business acumen for sales professionals increases skill in using a consultative, customer-focused sales approach.
And the good news is ... developing business acumen can be fast, fun and effective.
Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy
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Business acumen training for managers, employees and sales professionals
Zodiak is a one-day, classroom-based discovery learning experience that enhances the business acumen of executives, managers, sales professionals, new leaders, individual contributors and team leaders. This high-energy business simulation — disguised as a fast-paced game — puts participants in the role of new owners of a struggling company. Over the course of three simulated years, they handle chance events and make critical decisions around such strategic issues as capital investments, staffing, pricing, new products and more.
Very quickly, learners develop new insights — not just about how the numbers work, but also about the bottom-line consequences of business strategies, decisions and actions. Back on the job, they are armed with a significantly enhanced appreciation for the financial and strategic drivers of their organizations as well as their own impact on bottom-line results.Learn More →
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Strategic communication + employee engagement = organizational alignment
Discovery Maps® are fully customized educational sessions designed to align employees around corporate vision, strategies and new initiatives. These sessions develop the kind of business acumen and organizational literacy needed in today's complex and competitive business environment. Colorful table-sized maps create the visual foundation for a one- to three-hour learning experience that transfers knowledge with unrivaled clarity using discovery learning techniques.
In a classroom setting, teams of learners work together to explore the map's content, discuss issues, draw conclusions and develop new insights. Customized competitive games, challenge scenarios, realistic simulations, videos and online activities enhance the overall discovery learning experience, encourage new behaviors on the job, and build long-term knowledge retention.Learn More →
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Your critical business issues, our unique learning designs
We work with our clients to create communication and educational programs from scratch, using our unique discovery learning methodology and high-impact learning and retention techniques. We start with your issues and content, and build powerful business games, simulations, Discovery Maps® and other learning experiences that are fun, fast and focused... and, most important, effective.
Consider working with us to develop a business game, simulation or other discovery learning activity that educates and energizes your employees. Our innovative learning approach will help them understand how your organization works and how they contribute to the bottom line every day.Learn More →