You don’t have to be majoring in a business degree to necessitate learning to foster your business acumen. Business acumen has broad applications in group projects, organizations and even socially. Recognizing and remediating your weaknesses in terms of your business acumen can help you maximize your team’s efficiency, organize your organization and more.
So what is business acumen?
Business acumen basically relates to a number of skills and competencies required for successful management. Business acumen can colloquially be referred to as “business savvy” or “business sense.” Business acumen relates to the following:
1.Crafting a strategic plan and think strategically
2.Understanding basic operations and their connectivities
3.Recognizing financial elements and other moving parts of the organization
4.Making well-informed decisions to maneuver with skill and strategy
As you can see, things like planning and organization can be broadly applicable outside of an office or business setting. These are useful skills that can be applied to any team setting. It requires you to think big picture while analyzing general structure and long-term goals, while considering the ways that things will be implemented and focusing on the minutiae. By looking at both the large and small picture, you will be able to make better decisions.
Individuals with a solid grasp on business acumen are able to make assessments of the following:
1.Team Members– Who your peers/ constituents/ employees are and what they bring to the table
2.Customers or Audience– Who your customers/ viewers are and what they are looking for
3. Assets and Liabilities– Any liabilities that must be considered and conversely any ways to generate revenue or non-monetary gains
4.Uniqueness– How is your organization / group / project different and what does it do to set itself apart? It doesn’t need to be the most unique idea ever, but if it’s framed correctly it can blow competition out of the water.
5.Lifecycle– when do things get done, by whom and when. This helps to determine the sustainability of the process.
6.Mission/ Vision– what do you hope to accomplish? what are your real concrete, tangible goals? how will you convince others that your idea is more than just wishful thinking?
How do I develop my business acumen and implement it in a team setting?
1. Keeping in the Loop– For small teams it is especially important that everyone is aware of their roles and expected contributions. For larger teams, appoint points of contact to prevent confusion. The more moving parts their are in an organization, the more important that delegation of tasks is effectively processed.
2.Represent Yourself and Your Team– If you are in charge or the face of your team then it is especially important that you come across as charismatic, well-informed, and somewhat flexible. People will immediately tune out a presentation that is uncharismatic, unstructured or even worse too informal for the setting. Furthermore, make sure that if you are given the option to select your team or colleagues that you make sure to
3.Explain the Lifecycle– Set clear expectations and goals as well as tentative due dates or completion dates. This helps to determine who is doing what component. This organization will help MASSIVELY.
So, you may be wondering, what should I be reading, watching and/or listening to in order to develop these crucial (and applicable) skills ?
Suggested Educational Materials
Courses on: Business Acumen on Project Management ; Developing Business Acumen
If you are a university student a lot of schools offer free linkedin learning subscriptions!
Building Reputation and Relationships When We Can’t Be Face to Face
This actually a very good show for spotting good presentation and pitch skills. You can develop your skills by watching and analyzing what made pitches successful. A lot of times you’ll be faced with difficult questions under pressure and this show perfectly mimics that pressure and shows some really good ways of handling it.
Kevin O’Leary’s Youtube Channel
This is a great way to learn in a brutally honest format. The videos cover a bunch of related topics with the underlying purpose of skill development.
Graham Stephen’s Youtube
This is a great channel for learning a bit more about the financial and monetary sides of business and organizations. It’s very applicable to your personal life and goals as well.