By Henrik Ekelund
Do senior business executives usually have all the business acumen they need? Too many customers we meet say they need better leadership, but when we ask of business acumen, we often here that “we have this already, it is not a priority”. The truth is that every leader on every level needs to continuously train and enhance their business acumen, just like every athlete has to consistently practice and perfect their moves.
We decided to do some research and found some interesting data supporting the fact that even the most senior executive can benefit from acquiring further business acumen. Three pieces of research stood out the most:
- The Institute for Corporate Productivity conducted a study in 2010, where 400 leaders in American businesses responded to questions concerning business acumen. The results: “Eighty percent of the respondents think there is a moderate to very high deficiency in business acumen within their organization In addition, sixty-seven percent of respondents thought the knowledge deficiency among organizational leaders had a high to very high negative impact on their organizations.”
- McKinsey’s report, “Governance since the Economic Crisis”, which surveyed 1,597 corporate directors in April 2011, reveals that knowledge is still lacking at the executive level. Only 36 percent of respondents say that they have a complete understanding of their company’s financial positions, and only 21 percent say that they have a complete understanding of their current strategy.
- At BTS, we have trained over a million leaders around the world in business acumen through online, virtual and instructor-led workshops which leverage interactive custom business simulations. Of this total population, more than 250,000 have been executives (vice president and above). The average rating from these executives on “the value of these business acumen programs to them as decision makers in their companies” exceeds 4.7 on a scale of 1-5 (1=Fair, 5=Excellent).
This data clearly states that although executives have years of business experience, they benefit vastly from development of their business acumen. In addition, since executives continuously make profit-impacting decisions, developing their business acumen capabilities pays off handsomely.
Still not convinced? Read the full article on Why Executives Need to Enhance Their Business Acumen and then hear first-hand what our clients, such as Accenture, Humana and McDonald’s, have to say.
About the Author: Henrik Ekelund is Founder, President & CEO of BTS Group AB