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Building your Business and Financial Acumen

The Context

At its heart, business acumen means knowing how your company makes money, how it can sustain profitable growth and making better decisions around these aspects, no matter your role. Whether you are currently working for an organisation, own an organisation, or looking to start one, you need business and financial acumen. It requires an understanding of finance (‘financial acumen’), strategy and decision-making. Business Acumen is not only about understanding the numbers in your P&L, but also about managing your limited resources of people, time, and funding while adhering to governance, risk management and compliance requirements, keeping pace with (if not staying ahead of) competitors and delivering to customers at higher levels of quality. Leaders need to be capable of assessing situations with customers as well as within the organization and take quick and calculated decisions.

According to The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) body of competency and knowledge for 2016, Business Acumen is the third most important behavioral competency needed to succeed, trailing only Leadership and Ethics.

https://www.shrm.org/certification/Documents/SHRM-BoCK-FINAL.pdf

Our Belief

Managers often reach positions of responsibility because of their technical expertise. They are responsible for specific functional areas and often, have little understanding of the impact their decisions have on other areas of business i.e. they fail to see the “Big Picture”

We believe that at the most basic level of alignment, executives need to understand how their organization makes money. This includes understanding how profitability is driven, how assets are used, how cash is generated, and how day-to-day actions and decisions, impact growth & the various people involved i.e. the 5 key business drivers. In this regard, developing a vocabulary to understand business imperatives and financial metrics used to measure success has become of utmost importance. Managers also need to constantly assess changing marketplace conditions -- including disruptive threats, from beyond their industry.

Taking this thought process to its natural conclusion, we believe that it is not enough to have the knowledge, but the situationally appropriate use of that knowledge to effectively communicating with internal and external stakeholders, is what differentiates a leader - “Our articulation is often-times a poor example of our knowledge”

Some Questions to Think Critically

4
How does your business and strategic decisions impact the bottom line and how can you improve it?
3
How confident are you in using your business and financial knowledge to have meaningful conversations with senior executives that they find valuable?
2
What insights can you glean from your customer’s income statement and balance sheet?
1
How does your customer’s strategic decisions impact their vision and how can you help them make better decisions?

Outcomes

We call this workshop ‘MBA in a Box’. During this workshop, you will:

Become more aware of your own impact on financial outcomes and learn how to change your behavior to improve this impact

Use the 5 Business Drivers to understand how your company makes money

Deepen your understanding of how profitability is driven, how assets are used, how cash is generated and how we forecast revenues

You will learn to get better decisions, results and connecting results to business process

Engage in high level conversations with senior executives using the common language of Money, KPI, Financial Measurement

Demystifying the financial jargons: Understanding key financial concepts and ratios that will help you gain competitive advantage

Practice engaging in executive conversations so that you could confidently win over executives

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