We often look at business acumen as a group of business skills competencies including finance, strategy and decision-making.
Today I was reviewing some post-workshop comments from an Income/Outcome program in Japan, and I realized that ‘big picture understanding’ may not be a defined competency, but it is certainly part of business acumen.
The comments were part of 20+ evaluations for a single program in Japan and I was struck by the ‘big picture thinking’ of the group. We ask people what they learned and what they will do differently, and these 4 comments all show an improved big picture view of their business world:
- “I will definitely share the problem and look for comments before making decisions – it will make our team stronger in finding solutions.” (a change in Leadership style)
- “During the CFO discussion I had an ‘aha’ moment when thinking about how we can approach CFOs in our customers.” (a change in Sales approach)
- “Price is not the only item to make the business profitable.” (a change in Finance understanding)
- “Very Convincing Program and I would like to take this program to the rest of the Japan team.” (HR or Management.)
By definition a business acumen program will provide a well-rounded view of the business. It is designed to show outlines and relationships as well as details and difficulties: understanding the former gives a better grasp for dealing with the latter.
Our key area of expertise is in making financial information visual, holistic and interconnected. But even that is only a part of the bigger picture of business that comes across in the classroom. The cross-functional activities and discussion broaden general business awareness, develop new insights and skills for every participant, and… improve business acumen!
Everything has relationships and outcomes….numbers AND people. Approaching business acumen visually makes concepts come to life before your eyes! Income-Outcome–conduit to enlightenment!