Business acumen is the ability to take a long-term, big picture outlook over problems that your business has, and to assimilate all the variables that are involved with any issue. Someone with business acumen can make quick, accurate assessments of what sort of action might be required for a given scenario, and make logical and confident assessments. They may also be able to use their skills to create a strong consensus.
Managers that have general business acumen are able to exercise good judgement and make decisions that are generally favourable. They are known to the people that they work with as having the ability to assimilate information from numerous sources and come up with sound strategic alternatives. They also produce good insights and can offer ideas that will help to drive the company towards a better future.
Acumen requires a good understanding of several operational facets of running a company as well as back-office issues such as finance and accounting.
Good Management Matters
Managers who are able to show that they have good general acumen are able to move up through the ranks, and this could allow them to even reach a CEO position. The CEO needs to be someone who is able to make good decisions, have good problem solving skills and communicate effectively – a person like this is likely to be able to help a company a lot by being able to steer it during important periods. It is normal for a small business to have a CEO that is squarely a jack of all trades. Later, the company will see more success with specialists, but still needs someone with good guidance skills to grow the company. It is often advised for managers and CEOs to attend management courses such as 8D Problem Solving Training to learn the tricks of the trade.
A Broad Picture
Medium-sized and large companies have experts in accounting, production, marketing, IT and more. Within these specialisations, it is important that the experts are able to think about how their actions might impact other departments. A good manager can take in the bigger picture of the whole company, and this demonstrable ability is one of the key factors for displaying good general business acumen.
Communication skills are something that good managers have, too. While a manager may belong to one specific department and be focused purely on that department, they should still be able to understand requests from others and communicate their own needs or concerns with the others as well. Someone with good acumen is constantly looking for a way to improve their business and is always looking to learn new skills that will help their company – both by making it easier for other people to do their jobs and by making the business remain relevant to the competition. Having a strong vision is an essential part of running a successful business.
Improving Your Own Acumen
Managers can develop the quality of acumen if they commit to ongoing learning, and consider how their company operates. By working on becoming a better listener, the company can grow and develop more effectively. Assistant controllers could read up on reports about a competitor’s activities, and they could study everything that they can find about the products and services that a company provides so that they understand the essence of the business and what it takes to grow. The insights that they are able to contribute from the knowledge that they gain will stand them in good stead in important meetings and will open up opportunities for career progression. Getting noticed by the higher-ups is something that should not be underestimated. The more you are trusted and paid attention to, the easier it becomes to have even more influence and to have even more opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. You will be able to learn more and grow your company.