The Improving Business Acumen booklet explores how business acumen can assist boards and managers to deliver their organisation’s purpose by improving results. Business Acumen is an essential skill for both directors and managers, yet many people arrive in these senior positions lacking a sound grasp of the fundamentals. The booklet provides a framework for a full business model analysis and a range of tools to improve performance along with multiple case studies.
Business acumen is easier to understand if the second word comes first. In other words, the acumen needed to succeed in business. Business acumen can seem mysterious to those not familiar with the idea however, business acumen includes a series of business principles and understandings, which apply equally to for profits, not for profits ande government organisations. Some of the common business principles include:
- Generating a good return on assets and investments
- Managing our cash flow
- Focusing on revenue development
- Achieving a sustainable profit
Other principles will be less familiar such as :
- Do no harm
- Setting clear measurable goals for the business and then go after those goals
- Investing in becoming the best at what you do e.g. invest in our people
- Meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of customers
- Setting values for how everyone in the company should behave, tell the world about our values and be accountable for living our values
- Compete by being the best at what we do and do so with complete integrity
Other business principles are considered for not-for-profits, such as activities will run at a loss, and will need to be subsidised by profitable activities or external sources of funding and how this can be sound practice when these activities are mission-critical.
The Improving Business Acumen booklet asserts that an integrated whole of organisation business model, of which an example is provided, is the most important tool to improve business acumen and results.
The author, John Mero, has assisted hundreds of for-profit and not-for-profit corporations to improve their results using Business Acumen. He draws on 33 years of experience to produce this practical quick read booklet that will be particular use to directors and officers who do not have a grounding in business but now need those abilities.