Every client partnership begins with identifying the core business challenge or opportunity we’ve been hired to address. For this task, we interview leaders from across your organization, we listen to earnings calls, scour articles, dig into the numbers, and look for the telltale signs of what’s driving innovation and competitive advantage in your industry. We then turn our research into a meaningful path forward to ensure we absolutely nail your learning and development objectives.
Nothing in Acumen Learning's training talks over anybody’s head, but it’s not dumbed down either. It’s designed in such a way that anyone can grasp it.
Kelle Giachello, Learning Consultant
We wouldn't dare teach a generic course
You don’t need a generic business 101 course – most of your employees already took that class in college. And yet, that's typically what you'll get from an outside business acumen training provider. We're far from typical.
We've been best described as a management consulting company, but our end product isn't operational recommendations – it's a customized business acumen course. In other words, we're not telling your people what to do, we're teaching them how to make a difference. And study after study suggests that employees who understand how their company makes money and who know how they personally contribute to that money-making process are more engaged, more efficient, and more effective. And that's what developing good business acumen is all about.
To pull this off, and to really see a return on your investment, business acumen training has to be customized to the strategy and metrics that are important to your CEO and to a participant’s specific role and responsibilities. And, it should come as no surprise, what’s important to your CEO today may not be as important to her tomorrow. So teaching yesterday’s high-priced simulation or using a stagnant board game isn’t a long-term solution. Niether is a boring lecture from some professor or a lengthy presentation from your finance team.
What does work is our blended approach of Socratic discussion, intuitive models, and hands-on activities that make business and finance interesting, relevant, immediately actionable, and dare we say, fun.
Customization measured in weeks not months
We've developed a purposeful and efficient approach to customizing business and finance courses – measured in weeks not months. We take our existing award winning teaching methodologies and proprietary models and tools and combine them with what we already know about your industry and what we learn about your organization through our customization process. This modular approach allows you to pick and choose different areas of focus. During your customization process we'll jointly decide which activities and tools will help participants best meet your learning requirements.
For example, a two-day course for senior financial analysts might include an in-depth discussion on weighted average cost of capital, whereas a course designed for front-line leaders might stay centered on basic principles like cost management. And even if your course ends up mirroring one of our outlines at a high level, in its details your course will be unique to your business and tailored to meet your specific objectives.
+Task 1: Uncovering Your Strategy
+Task 2: Designing Your Training
Building on the insights gained during the previous task, we synthesize our research into a well-defined, differentiating, and actionable course based on our 5 Business Drivers® model and learning tools. We also develop participant-centric learning experiences tailored to the types of business problems they are called upon to solve, so each participant can effectively demonstrate the skills and abilities that will prepare them to become a stronger business leader.
So whether you have salespeople struggling to close more profitable deals or a group of HIPO leaders who need to stretch their financial acumen, your program will be customized to your audience’s specific needs.
+Task 3: Delivering Your Course
The same consultant team that has come to know the ins-and-outs of your organization will facilitate your training. This ensures that your learning experience combines a fresh outsider's perspective with an insider's understanding of your business. And to get the most out of future deliveries we continue to review your earnings and follow your industry so that what’s being learned is red-hot relevant. In other words, once we have a partnership – we never stop customizing.
I actually thought you were a Rolls-Royce executive.
Building Business Acumen Participant
Strengthening your organization at every career stage
When we began this endeavor over decade ago, it was to meet a severe need to develop business acumen among rank and file front line employees… so we thought.
We learned quickly that business acumen is a gap for most professionals including people in senior leadership positions. Even so called "numbers people" who can read a financial statement have a hard time connecting those numbers to the projects, decisions, departments, external factors, and innovations that are the real story behind the numbers. So while we conduct a lot of frontline courses, we teach just as much business acumen to senior leaders and finance groups.
+Business acumen helps your Frontline employees…
- Seek and review data and information to make decisions that maximizes their performance.
- Make use of company resources, including financial statements, to expand their business knowledge.
- Use insights from data to adjust their priorities.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the commercial, operational, financial, and people aspects of the business.
+Business acumen helps your High Potentials…
- Bring together various data sources and identify patterns within the data to make effective decisions aligned with functional goals.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships between functions.
- Adapt tactics to changing business priorities across the organization and regions.
- Effectively manage budgets and financial controls.
+Business acumen helps your Senior Leaders…
- Translate vast amounts of data from various sources to make decisions on current situations and future opportunities or obstacles.
- Combine their knowledge of the business with industry and marketplace knowledge to drive organizational performance.
- Monitor financial performance measures and ensure finance controls and targets are met.
- Is able to be decisive using ambiguous data.
Your business needs business talent
Business acumen is a sort of foundation that's needed, but that's too often missing, in corporate curriculums. For example, without business acumen can individuals ever fully master more conventional business skills like leadership presence, negotiation, or communications?
Even when it comes to something seemingly unrelated like diversity training – individuals with business acumen have a better understanding of how different perspectives can help shape a successful project and ultimately a successful company. Without business acumen, it's just another HR course.
Developing business acumen gives your leaders a business footing on which to stand and it provides needed context and clarity on which to build additional business skills. And smart organizations are recognizing that including business acumen in their professional competency models is a real competitive advantage.