Business acumen is variously defined as business and financial literacy. A simple integrated definition could be: “I understand how businesses make money, how my company makes money, how my customers make money and importantly, what they want from my business.”
Industrial age thinking dictated that only those at the top of the pile needed to know how a business functioned, what the strategy was and how to innovate and improve competitive advantage. These days we know better and so we build leadership capability throughout organisations, and we encourage all employees to understand the value creation model of the business. We want everyone to know what the financial drivers of the business are, what the key business risks are and how the business navigates complexity and uncertainty.
Everyone in the business needs this to be agile because in agile teams no one person is seen as holding all the knowledge and all the decision-making power. Business acumen is therefore a foundation for agile engagement and collaboration. Agile engagement and collaboration are fundamental building blocks for digital transformation.
The 5-second test:
- Can your team follow industry, company and your own division’s reports?
- Does your team love your company’s numbers?
- Does your team request data to support decision making?
- Can your team define how the voice of the customer owns your innovation initiatives?
- Does your team embrace the relationship between agility, collaboration, and performance?
If you answered no to one or more of the above and if you would like to find out how to build business acumen in your business to achieve your goals, then you should be talking to us. Contact CPS. #Changetomorrow.