Why is business acumen is important? The biggest business benefit of enhanced business acumen at an organisational level are first, the ability of each individual to make decisions that align with the organisation’s objectives and secondly, to take the required action. These two factors generate increases in organisational effectiveness and efficiency.
Individuals are able to make appropriate decisions because:
- They see the bigger picture and understand how each part of the organisation fits together.
- They have the skills to deal with complexity and uncertainty. They can process the available relevant information and have the confidence to reach a conclusion.
Individuals who possess business acumen and commercial awareness will take actions for the benefit of the organisation. For example:
- Decisions will be made to ensure the best return for any effort expended. This might be a financial investment or the application of man hours to a problem. These actions will influence top-line revenue growth.
- Individuals will have the knowledge to be able to bridge the communication gap within the organisation, by translating the decisions made at higher levels into understandable policies and procedures for their teams.
- When faced with a complex issue where no solution appears ideal, they will have the skill to analyse the information they do have, the confidence to make rational assumptions to fill in the gaps, and the courage to make a decision. As such the organisation will avoid long periods of inactivity and uncertainty and will have the chance to grab future opportunities – maybe before the competitors.
Organisations who believe business acumen is important, will be populated by individuals with strong business acumen will have a shared understanding of the opportunities and threats facing the organisation and will be able to come up with a logical and coordinated response. Every individual’s actions and decisions will be strategically aligned with those of the organisation.