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Business Acumen: the Language of Business

Speak the Language of Business Acumen

The Miscommunication Problem

The language of business can be a complex and overwhelming topic. But it doesn't have to be! Learning the financial side of your company, the fundamentals of money-making, and business metrics can be easy!

At Acumen Learning we've had the great opportunity of working with very large, multinational, publicly traded companies all over the world, and we've seen great examples of executives communicating with their companies and not-so-great examples. During a time like now, where we have low unemployment and a trend of transient employees, communication is critical to engaging your workforce.

Business acumen can and should be a core skill set to help executives communicate better and employees align with that communication. Where is the organization going? Why are executives taking the organization in that direction? And are they explaining it in such a way that engages and inspires their employees? Without that, you're going to have more and more people likely to leave.

Business Acumen: The Solution

There are several things we'd recommend to these leaders that can help further engage their employees to stay, find meaning, and connect to their roles.

Explain the Change in Business Strategy

First, as a leader in the business when you have a strategy that you roll out to the organization, be as clear and connected as possible to why this is being done. Help people understand the business trends that you've seen, see the macroeconomic realities that you're dealing with, help people understand the environment that you're operating within, and get as clear as you can on why a shift of strategy makes sense for the business right now. Be it a change in customers, competitors, regulatory realities, or whatever it is, get clear on why the strategy needs to shift, and what the end state looks like to help position the business successfully over the long term. But also be good at speaking that language in a way people can understand. Executives tend to live in the world of finance and strategy but not everyone speaks that language.

Make the Change About Employees

Connect the business strategy change to each employee's role. Everyone wants to know that they matter, but most employees just see themselves as someone filling a role. When in reality, they're doing a job that actually plugs into a broader ecosystem of the company's success. Companies struggle with communicating the strategy of where they're going and making it personal to all the individuals who make it possible.

If you can bridge those two worlds together — having a language that everyone can understand, clarity in where you're going as a business, and connection to what everyone does in their role — you'll have people that find meaning, connection, and are inspired to do things differently or better and enhance the strategy of your business. Leveraging business acumen is the core of that. That's how you engage employees. That's how you have everyone rowing in the same direction. And at the core of that is having everybody with a better understanding of business and better business acumen.

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