“Step up to the plate” with enhanced Acumen

Posted by Paradigm Learning on March 19, 2015

Baseball on base

Imagine this…

It’s Baseball Season. You’re dressed in your fan gear, seated at the stadium, ready for a big game. Your team takes the field. First ball is hit toward second base. Instead of quickly reacting, fielding the ball, and whipping it over to first base for the out, the second baseman lets the ball go by. He turns and watches as his teammate in left field scrambles and the runner advances to third base.

You’re shocked! This should never happen in Major League baseball, right? Now imagine if the second baseman, third baseman, and short stop reacted the same way when a ball came their way. What about the whole team? There would be no chance the team would win the game…

These baseball players need enhanced acumen. Defined, acumen is the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain. Without acumen, these players are not able to make decisions that result positively for their team.

It’s the same for business. In the day-to-day business world, business acumen is important for leaders, managers, employees, sales teams—everyone! Without business acumen, your workforce isn’t able to make decisions that impact the bottom line in a positive way.

But what is business acumen?

It is an in-depth understanding of how a business works, how it makes money, and how strategies and decisions impact financial, operational, and sales results.

Imagine for a second (as uncomfortable as it might be) your workforce making the same decisions as the baseball team above…how successful would your organization be? Employees make decisions every day; business acumen gives them critical skills to make decisions that are in alignment with an organization’s bottom-line goals.

When employees have a heightened sense of business acumen they:

  • Understand how their actions and decisions affect the organization’s financial and strategic metrics. Had the second baseman decided to do whatever it took to field the ball and get an out, the entire team would have been better off.
  • Appreciate the tough decisions senior leadership is forced to make, and the complexity of those decisions. Sometimes the coach on a baseball team makes tough calls players don’t agree with. Once they understand the why behind the decision, they align their decisions and actions to help achieve the coach’s goals.
  • Understand how their organization makes money and what metrics are important to the success of the organization. Every organization wants to grow, no matter how big, just like every baseball team wants to end up a World Series champion. Decisions made every day have a direct link to the success of an organization.

So, does your team have acumen? Share some comments and thoughts below.

Topics: Business Acumen