Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 40

External Orientation. External orientation
is where we start. The firm's very
existence is established on a thorough
understanding of targeted customers
and their needs. This also includes an
understanding of the firm's competitive
capability and how it's positioned to
achieve success. With this, every decision
considers the impact on customers and
the firms market posture. Executives
are urged to mute functional agendas
in business decisions, so that actions
contribute to the strategic goals of the
company. When employees comprehend
the business's orientation, they're building
a foundation for business acumen.

THE CULTIVATION
OF BUSINESS ACUMEN
CONTRIBUTES TO THE
CREATION OF FUTUREREADY COMPANIES.

Mindset. Mindset consists of the mental
models and operational paradigms of
employees. Most executives want their
emerging leaders and managers to think
strategically. However, a solid context
is needed. Strategic thinking enables
employees to knit together various
dimensions of the business. This means
that they can identify and solve problems
or determine how to finetune a process
to achieve greater efficiency. With the
right mindset, employees achieve selfempowerment as they build capital
and develop the ability to navigate the
business culture to get things done.

| 40

Capability. This area of the model
addresses
day-to-day
business
operations. There are eight key
capabilities that must be developed
in order to attain an optimal level of
business acumen. These include:
1.	 Utilizing teams and influencing
people. The business of business is
also the business of people. People
represent the glue holding together
the execution and management of
tasks within the context of the entire
business acumen canvas.
2.	Using processes to get work done.
Interconnected workflows are the
heart of the workplace. Mastery of
workflows is the key to clarity around
roles, efficiency and outcomes.
It's also the key to understanding
customers.
When
employees
understand the world of customers,
they can contribute to the delivery of
compelling value propositions.
3.	Managing projects targeted at goal
attainment. Every person should
understand project management
and time, cost, and scope in the
achievement explicit goals. It's related
to the first two items and represents
how work gets done.
4.	Understanding the products sold by
the firm. Products are the lifeblood
of business. Key employees should
understand the products sold, the
needs of the customer, the competitors
in the market, the market share
obtained and the revenue attained.
5.	Understanding finance and financial
analysis. Every business decision
made has financial consequences.
Therefore, an understanding of
accounting, finance, budgeting and
variance analysis is vital. As a word of
caution, many put too much emphasis
on this area in the cultivation of
business acumen. It is certainly a vital
dimension but not to the exclusion of
the other areas.
6.	Formulating goals and strategies.
Every leader and manager should be

thinking about what's next. To do so,
they must have the data to evaluate
the past and present, including
customers served, industry trends
and financial contributions. They must
synthesize data, uncover patterns and
contribute to the decisions that impact
the future vision, goals and strategies
of the firm.
7.	Analyzing data to solve problems
and make decisions. Each aspect of
the business contains a treasure trove
of data and insights. Decisions might
have to be made on a moment's notice
or require deeper analysis. The ability
to break down a situation, assess
anomalies, and come to a conclusion
impacts business and team functions.
This capability provides a strong
adhesive for the items in this list.
8.	Assessing business performance.
Perhaps the single most important
characteristic is a person's ability
to see how things are going and
recognize when they're going off
the rails.
Each of these items cannot be seen
just from one viewpoint or business
perspective. The skilled business
person, regardless of the function
they serve, should be able to build an
integrated mental model, so that the
right practices are implemented at the
right times.

HOW TO CULTIVATE
BUSINESS ACUMEN
Most people who work in complex
companies are overwhelmed. Employees
are trying to execute a number of tasks
and processes correctly and urgently.
Some things happen so fast that it's
hard to structure work. For executives
and talent managers, harnessing and
optimizing the capabilities of employees
can be a daunting task.
With an effective organizational strategy,
companies can build business acumen
in employees. It's not the kind of thing



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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