Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 39

Everyone's talking about the future of
business, and conversations continually
center around transformation and
change. It may go without saying
that talent management has never
been more important. Leaders across
business functions will benefit greatly
from solid guidance on a popular term
with many definitions: business acumen.
The cultivation of business acumen
contributes to the creation of future-ready
companies - companies that can operate
in an increasingly competitive market.

WHAT IS BUSINESS
ACUMEN?
If you ask 20 people to define business
acumen, you'll likely get 20 different
responses. It's a term most business
professionals feel confident in their
interpretations of. However, to minimize
any further variability, let's start with
a definition:
"Business acumen is a portfolio of
skills, behaviors and capabilities

needed to support an organization in
the achievement of its financial and
strategic goals."
Consider business acumen a skill set
that is cultivated as in the trade-craft
tradition. This is an important way to
think about business acumen, because
everyone comes into an organization
with varied functional experiences and
paradigms. Employees, regardless of
function, need to understand the big
picture of the business and how various
dimensions of the business operate in
collaboration with one another. They
also must be able to consider a host of
business dimensions as they collaborate.
With this, I strongly advocate that
leaders take a more active role in the
cultivation of business acumen across
the enterprise.
Even in companies where functional
leaders carry out routine development
of employees, it's often not to
improve business acumen. Leadership
development programs add value
by helping people across functions

be better in leadership. However,
based on research for my book, "The
Business Acumen Handbook," these
development efforts are not instilling
the business of business in the minds
of employees who have an opportunity
to help the organization achieve its
goals. That responsibility often falls on
high-potential employees and those in
leadership training. A more granular
approach is needed. There's the "what"
to develop, and then there's "how" to
develop it. Let's talk about the "what"
first, using a visual model called, "The
Business Acumen Canvas."

THE BUSINESS
ACUMEN CANVAS
The Business Acumen Canvas was
created to highlight three dimensions of
business acumen shown in Figure 1:
1.	 External orientation
2.	Mindset
3.	Capability

FIGURE 1. THE BUSINESS ACUMEN CANVAS
EXTERNAL
VALUE PROPOSITION

MARKET SEGMENTS

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

REVENUE MODEL

MINDSET
THINKING
STRATEGICALLY

BUILDING INTERNAL
RELATIONSHIPS

CULTIVATING EXTERNAL
RELATIONSHIPS

CAPABILITY
UTILIZING TEAMS
AND INFLUENCING
PEOPLE

USING PROCESSES
USED TO GET
WORK DONE

MANAGING PROJECTS
TARGETED AT
GOAL ATTAINMENT

UNDERSTANDING
THE PRODUCTS
SOLD BY THE FIRM

UNDERSTANDING
FINANCE AND
FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

FORMULATING
GOALS AND
STRATEGIES

ANALYZING DATA
TO SOLVE
PROBLEMS AND
MAKE DECISIONS

ASSESSING
BUSINESS
PERFORMANCE

BEING OUTCOME
DRIVEN
DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS

TAKING
ACTION

ASSUMING
RESPONSIBILITY

GLOBAL PRESENCE

EARNING
CREDIBILITY

INDUSTRY/SECTOR TRENDS

TECHNOLOGY
© BUSINESS ACUMEN INSTITUTE

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - BUILDING A GREAT TRAI NI NG ORGANI ZAT I ON I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

| 39


https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020

Building a Great Training Organization
Table of Contents
The Strategic L&D Plan
Developing a Great Training Organization Like a Healthy Brain
Change-ready L&D: Ingredients for Success
What Great Training Organizations Do
Building a Learning Strategy thath Drives Business Results
L&D Bottleneck: Why Your Training Material Isn't Being Utilized
10 Best Practices for Leading a Great Training Organization
The Untapped Goldmine of the Service Professional as the Trusted Advisor
Do We Really Need Learning Platforms? Understand the Learning Landscape and Spend Your Budget Wisely
Improving Instructor Development and Performance with Observations
How to Leverage Business Acumen to Create a Future-ready Organization
Accounting for Learning Investments and Organizational Impact
Lessons Learned: A Shared Services Implementation
The Brave New World of L&D: Stepping Up in the Age of Disruption
Winning the Battle for Learner Engagement
Sales Enablement Comes of Age
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 1
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 3
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Building a Great Training Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Strategic L&D Plan
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Developing a Great Training Organization Like a Healthy Brain
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Change-ready L&D: Ingredients for Success
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - What Great Training Organizations Do
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Building a Learning Strategy thath Drives Business Results
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - L&D Bottleneck: Why Your Training Material Isn't Being Utilized
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 10 Best Practices for Leading a Great Training Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Untapped Goldmine of the Service Professional as the Trusted Advisor
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Do We Really Need Learning Platforms? Understand the Learning Landscape and Spend Your Budget Wisely
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Improving Instructor Development and Performance with Observations
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - How to Leverage Business Acumen to Create a Future-ready Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Accounting for Learning Investments and Organizational Impact
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 44
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Lessons Learned: A Shared Services Implementation
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Brave New World of L&D: Stepping Up in the Age of Disruption
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Winning the Battle for Learner Engagement
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Sales Enablement Comes of Age
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 54
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