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We've developed a purposeful and efficient approach to customizing business and finance courses – measured in weeks not months. We take our existing award winning teaching methodologies and proprietary models and tools and combine them with what we already know about your industry and what we learn about your organization through our customization process. This modular approach allows you to pick and choose different areas of focus. During your customization process we'll jointly decide which activities and tools will help participants best meet your learning requirements.

For example, a two-day business acumen training course for senior financial analysts might include an in-depth discussion on weighted average cost of capital, whereas a course designed for front-line leaders might stay centered on basic principles like cost management. And even if your course ends up mirroring one of our outlines at a high level, in its details your course will be unique to your business and tailored to meet your specific objectives. 

  • Task 1: Uncovering Your Business Strategy
    Every client partnership begins with identifying the core business challenge or opportunity we’ve been hired to address. For this task, we interview leaders from across your organization, we listen to earnings calls, scour articles, dig into the numbers, and look for the telltale signs of what’s driving innovation and competitive advantage in your industry. We then turn our research into a meaningful path forward to ensure we absolutely nail your learning and development objectives.

  • Task 2: Designing Your Business Acumen Training
    Building on the insights gained during the previous task, we synthesize our research into a well-defined, differentiating, and actionable course based on our 5 Business Drivers® model and learning tools. We also develop participant-centric learning experiences tailored to the types of business problems they are called upon to solve, so each participant can effectively demonstrate the skills and abilities that will prepare them to become a stronger business leader.

    So whether you have salespeople struggling to close more profitable deals or a group of HIPO leaders who need to stretch their financial acumen, your program will be customized to your audience’s specific needs.

  • Task 3: Delivering Your Business Acumen Course
    The same consultant team that has come to know the ins-and-outs of your organization will facilitate your business acumen training. This ensures that your learning experience combines a fresh outsider's perspective with an insider's understanding of your business. And to get the most out of future deliveries we continue to review your earnings and follow your industry so that what’s being learned is red-hot relevant. In other words, once we have a partnership – we never stop customizing.

business acumen training



  • Increase our financial and analytical skills, to drive bottom-line results

  • Finance for non-financial managers

  • How we make money


  • Effectively communicate strategy, direction, and performance to leaders, peers, and teams

  • Make better, smarter, faster business decisions


  • Know the financial measures most important to our executive team

  • Improve performance, productivity, and engagement


  • Women in leadership

  • Business acumen for sales

  • HIPO and corporate universities

  • CPE credits for CPAs

  • SHRM and HRCI recertification

Course Content

Business Acumen Intro   

  • Financial Knowledge Assessment

  • Cultural Importance

  • Executive Alignment

  • Street Vendor SIM

Cash Business Driver

  • Cash & Equivalents

  • Cash Flow from Operations

  • Working Capital

    • Receivables

    • Payables

    • Inventory

  • Cash Conversion Cycle

  • Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

  • Free Cash Flow

Profit Business Driver

  • Sales/Revenues/Top Line

  • Cost of Goods Sold

  • Gross Profit & Margin

  • SG&A

  • Net Profit/Bottom Line

  • Operating Profit & Margin

  • EBIT vs. EBITDA vs. PBT

  • Earnings Per Share (EPS)

  • Variance Analysis

  • Grow Sales/Reduce Costs

Assets Business Driver

  • Return on Assets 

  • Return on Equity 

  • Return on Investment

  • Strength vs Utilization

  • Hurdle Rate

  • Internal Rate of Return

  • Weighted Average Cost of Capital

Growth Business Driver

  • Top-Line Growth

  • Time Value of Money

  • Operating Income Growth

  • Product Life Cycle

  • Operating Leverage

  • Organic vs Inorganic Growth

  • Merger & Acquisition Growth Trade-offs

  • Total Shareholder Return

  • Return on Invested Capital 

People Business Driver

  • Internal Customers

  • External Customers

  • Anticipating Customer Expectations 

  • Shareholders

Executive Alignment

  • Linking the Five Drivers

  • Letter to Shareholders

  • Alignment Strategies

  • Executive Communication

  • “Think Like Owners”

  • CEO Urgency Continuum

  • Margin & Mission

Navigating Financials

  • Financials 101

  • Form 10-K key items

  • Reading Annual Reports

  • Trends & Ratios

  • Competitor/Customer/Supplier Analysis


  • Variance Analysis

  • P&L Analytics

  • OpEx v Non-OpEx 

  • Earnings Per Share

  • Executive Decisions & Interpretations  

  • Fixed vs Variable Expenses

  • Operating Leverage

Balance Sheet

  • Current Ratio

  • Debt to Equity Ratio

  • Liquidity Report Analytics

  • Assets & Liabilities

  • Efficiency Analysis

Cash Flow Statement

  • Cash from Operating Activities Analysis

  • Non-Cash Adjustments

  • Cash Flow from Operations

  • Free Cash Flow

  • Capital Allocation Strategy

External Acumen

  • Recognize Market Opportunities

  • Risk Mitigation

Functional Awareness

  • Corporate Culture

  • Networking Strategy

Competitor Analysis

  • Review & Report

Stock Price Analysis

  • Price-Earnings Ratio

  • Buy-Back Strategy

  • 7 Benefits of a Higher Stock Price

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