Business acumen is an area frequently neglected when it comes to leadership discussions. The ability to lead, inspire and plan are essential, but so is the ability to understand the ins and outs of business – the knowledge and insight of what makes businesses tick. Developing business acumen can be especially important when promoting from within.
What is business acumen, and how can you ensure your leaders have it?
Define Business Acumen
A professional with business acumen has a strong understanding of the various components that go into a successful business. It can include operations, finance, and strategy. They know how to focus on relevant business elements, solve business problems, and lead their team to success. They understand how different departments work together.
Assess Knowledge of Business Acumen
Begin by assessing what managers need to know. They may not be comfortable with some key business terms and concepts that may be second nature to experienced leaders. An employee can excel at their job and display exceptional charisma and leadership skills, but without a business degree or strong experience, they may be lacking in some of the core competencies behind business acumen.
Does that mean they shouldn’t be considered for management roles? Not at all, you just have to be willing to put in the time to develop your team. Identifying high potential individuals and developing their skills usually pays off in ROI, retention, and ROI.
Train in Business Acumen
An effective approach may be cross-functional training, spending time with leaders in various departments to gain a well-rounded understanding. They must understand the core functions of the business, including how it operates and how each manager contributes. Understanding the organization’s business as a whole and recognizing the unique roles each department can play in organizational success.
- Human resources can share information on programs, policies, and systems new managers must know to effectively contribute to the organization’s goals and strategic direction.
- Finance can teach essential concepts such as Return on Investment (ROI), budgeting, cash flow, and reading a P&L statement. Most people in business will have a general familiarity with these terms, but finance professionals can provide more in-depth insights.
- Operations can help managers learn how the different departments work together to form a cohesive whole working toward the same goal.
Partner With The Panther Group
Panther can help employers attract talent with the potential to be developed into effective managers. Our flexible staffing solutions enable you to step up to today’s business challenges. As a workforce management partner expert in recruiting, managing, and training employees, Panther can help you find professionals who will thrive in your organization and have a positive impact on your business. Contact us today.
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