How Business Acumen Fits In

Posted by Paradigm Learning on January 14, 2016


Business strategy alignment…ring a bell?

Sure it does. In’s  10 Insights to Prepare for a Successful 2016, it’s the number one tip.

The article brings to light a shift that has occurred in learning and development: specifically,  the old L&D structured around academic endeavor verses the new with a clear business perspective. This change is derived from C-Suite executives focused on the value of learning, powered by results.

Since L&D deals with the people variable (and statistics show that only 5% of employees understand the company’s strategy), how is an L&D program with business strategy alignment ever to happen?

That’s where business acumen training comes in. 

Business Acumen:

  1. Helps employees see the big-picture. When employees learn the “story” behind the numbers, they see themselves as owners of the company and how each decision they make affects shareholder value. The connection is a simple but highly effective link to profitability. “Now I know why the home office makes the decisions that they do.” –Participant, Pizza Hut
  2. Aligns department goals with those of the organization. Departmental decisions are made everyday…for that specific segment of the organization. Imagine if you could get all those departments to align their goals with those of the organization. “We need employees with good business acumen because we are asking them to look for areas to cut waste. Financially savvy employees can easily identify opportunities and see potential benefits.” –Director of Organizational Development, Del Monte
  3. Lets employees discover how heir individual decisions and actions impact the bottom-line. Business acumen training empowers employees to see how their decisions impact the bottom-line. They are able to see, “what’s in it for me” and want to contribute to the success of their company. “It is more important than ever for employees to understand the bottom line and their own roles in success.” --Boeing

You can take it from Boeing® who fit business acumen training in to foster that distinction, focusing on constantly improving all aspects of the business to achieve quality, profitability and growth: the three most important criteria for Boeing business success.

Or you can do what FIS® did: recover $3.1 million in-year dollars to the bottom-line due to a department leader understanding how her individual actions could directly impact that bottom-line. 

To get business strategy aligned, your employees must understand. To do it, they need business acumen training. There is always a place for business acumen training in any strategy oriented curriculum . 

To learn more about business acumen, download this eBook!

Topics: Business Simulations, Leadership Development, Learning Development, Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, Business Acumen, Human Resources