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Business acumen training for managers, employees and sales professionals

Your company faces tough decisions every day about processes, people, product development, asset management, capital investments and more. In today's competitive, fast-paced marketplace, these decisions are no longer the exclusive responsibility of those in the executive suite. Business acumen skills are critical at all levels.

When your managers and employees have business acumen skills - when they understand the financial drivers and strategic objectives, and realize the connection between strategy and financial success - only then will your organization operate at peak levels. Business strategy games and business management games can help develop financial acumen.

Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy builds the financial acumen of every employee. It is a sophisticated simulation disguised as a board game - a fast-paced, energizing and engaging way to increase business acumen. This business management game is ready-made to work for companies in any industry, or we can customize a program centered around this business strategy game to address your unique business conditions and challenges.

AUDIENCES: Managers, supervisors, individual contributors and employees.

THE SIMULATION: Participants take the role of new owners of a struggling company and make critical operating decisions. They take out loans, attract investors, purchase equipment and materials, respond to quality issues and deliver products. They handle chance events, move game pieces and respond to investors. And they embrace new insights - not just about how the numbers work, but also about how their individual actions impact financial success. As they do so, terms such as cash flow, return on equity, working capital, cost of goods sold, and assets come vividly to life to increase their business acumen skills.

CONNECTIONS: Exercises after the business management game create a bridge from the classroom to real-time work environments. With the fresh perspective of "running" a company, participants can explore their organization's strategies, processes, terminology, profit drivers, cash flow, competition and more. They connect their day-to-day actions to the bottom line,ultimately raising financial acumen. (Connections exercises are provided with Zodiak, or you may wish to work with us to customize the exercises for deeper relevance to your issues and/or your audience.)

TRAINING OUTCOMES: Managers develop a critical leadership competency with significantly higher levels of financial literacy and business acumen. They can articulate the organization's financial and strategic imperatives, read and interpret financial reports, align departmental and personal goals to overall company success, make better decisions and inspire others to do the same. Employees learn to think and act differently with a big-picture understanding of the company's financial and strategic goals. They see the link between their departmental objectives and their own, where they fit, and how they can make a difference.

USES: Zodiak is an excellent way to broaden your leadership development curriculum … engage managers around company vision and strategy … accelerate employee commitment to major changes … help employees gain insight into how they affect the bottom line … energize a management, sales or company wide event.

TIME FRAME: Zodiak incorporates a four-hour business strategy game session and a two-hour Connections session. Optional extension exercises can be modified or customized.

DELIVERY: We can train your in-house facilitators or provide our experienced discovery learning facilitators to conduct your sessions.

LANGUAGES: In addition to English, some versions are available in Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese (simplified), Czech, German, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish (Latin American). We are committed to working closely with clients to meet specific language needs.

Learn more about your six Zodiak program options:

  • Zodiak: All Industries – This business acumen program works in any industry and can be used to develop your leaders and managers or key employees.
  • Zodiak: Service Organizations - This business acumen program works in a variety of service organizations and can be used to develop your leaders and managers or key employees.
  • Zodiak: Sales Professionals - This business acumen program will work in any industry and can be used to develop sales representatives, sales managers and marketing and/or sales support personnel.
  • Zodiak: EVA® Organizations – This business acumen program will work in any organization using the EVA® measure and can be used to develop managers or employees at all levels.
  • Zodiak: Government - This business acumen program was designed for managers and employees in agencies using a working-capital or revolving fund. It is customizable for federal, state or local applications and can be used with managers, leaders and employees.
  • Zodiak: HR Professionals - This business acumen program can be used in any industry to develop the business acumen of managers, specialists, team leaders or employees within any HR function.
PMIParadigm Learning is a charter member of the Project Management Institute’s Educational Provider Program. Zodiak participants can be awarded eight Professional Development Units (PDUs) toward their certification with PMI.
Paradigm Learning has been approved by the HR Certification Institute for its business acumen program, Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, as well as Impact5: The Business of Leadership Game®, Countdown®: A Strategy Game for Project Teams and Neon Buzz®: Lighting Up Organizational Performance.

"The education of our sales professionals on the basics of financial literacy and business acumen was a big part of our winning that award. Business acumen is such an important part of our selling approach. If we don’t understand how our customers make money and their financial situations, how can we provide tailored solutions? We need to understand their business strategies and how they go to market. Zodiak helped facilitate awareness of the role we play for the customer and took the fear out of finance."

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