Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 41

FIGURE 2. SIMPLE ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY TO IMPROVE BUSINESS ACUMEN

ASSESS
BUSINESS
ACUMEN

ASSESS
GAPS

FUTURE
STATE

ACTION
STEPS

you orchestrate overnight, but it is
feasible with a simple process, shown in
Figure 2.

upskilling, experiential work projects
for employees and coaching.

1.	 Assess business acumen. Evaluate
the skills and capabilities of your
targeted population. Each area of the
Business Acumen Canvas can be put
under a microscope. Examine each
area as a "cluster" of work, and assess
what people know versus what people
do. Exposing employees to a simple
self-assessment can speed things
along. After taking this assessment,
they can share their results with
managers to finetune goals and plans.

5.	Evaluate results. All strategies require
evaluation. Your future state and
action steps should be harmonized,
requiring you to reassess business
acumen gaps and goals to help your
company on its organizational journey.

2.	Assess gaps. Identifying key gaps is
an important part of any strategy. After
examining data in each area, highlight
major areas requiring attention. In
strategic planning, an examination
of strengths and weaknesses often
leads to ideas about what's possible
and provides input on next steps.
3.	Future state. Determine what's most
important, so you can envision your
organization's future. This requires
collaborative leadership. Your job is to
identify developmental areas that will
help the company gain a larger share
of the market, innovate new products
or deliver better customer experience.
Then, there's greater meaning to the
goals you derive, including an ability
to improve return on investment and
foster greater customer satisfaction.
4.	Action steps. Your action steps
represent the outcome of the gap
analysis, vetted against future
business goals. These could include

WHEN EMPLOYEES
COMPREHEND
THE BUSINESS'S
ORIENTATION, THEY'RE
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
FOR BUSINESS ACUMEN.

EVALUATE
RESULTS

Business acumen is multi-dimensional
and dynamic, and it must be knitted
into the fabric of the organization. While
there isn't a codified body of knowledge
for business acumen, it is my aim to
provide a foundation, so that you're able
to contribute to organizational success.
When speaking about fabric of an
organization, I think of the work of
Charlie Munger, vice chairman at
Berkshire Hathaway. There's a quote
from Munger I've summarized to
reinforce my message to you:
"...You can't really know anything if you
just remember isolated facts and try
and bang 'em back. If the facts don't
hang together on a latticework... you
don't have them in a usable form...
You've got to have models in your
head... And the models have to come
from multiple disciplines, because
all the wisdom of the world is not
to be found in one little academic
department..."
Organizational and business intelligence
isn't
achieved
overnight.
The
accumulated knowledge, experience
and abilities to correlate actions to
outcomes form the foundation of
business acumen.

SUMMARY
This article shared a solid framework
to enable you to understand the
foundations of business acumen.

Steven Haines is the chief executive
officer of Business Acumen Institute
and author of "The Business Acumen
Handbook." He's also written "The
Product Manager's Survival Guide"
(2e) and "The Product Manager's Desk
Reference" (2e). Email Steven.

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

| 41


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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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