Business Acumen

Business Acumen Learning Outcomes
Business Acumen Learning Outcomes

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Learning the "business" of business is mission critical to strategy execution and success in today’s increasingly competitive world. Understanding how a business operates and the associated financial reporting can be a challenge – more than 75% of people (from the shop floor through to senior management) state they lack confidence in understanding financial indicators and concepts. Many of us are tasked daily with making tough decisions relating to pricing, margins, research, product development, marketing, Human Resources and administration policies. Employees need to be aware of the impact that their decisions can have on the company’s bottom line.

Business Acumen (BA) is a one-day simulation workshop that provides the knowledge leaders and employees alike need to drive strategic priorities through understanding the “business” of business. It is ideal for people of all levels looking to up-skill on financial acumen and can be customised for different types of businesses (retail, manufacturing, etc.) and audiences (e.g. sales teams). Numbers from the balance sheets of your company can even be included.

Program Outcomes

The Business Acumen Showcase is a hands-on, engaging and powerful business simulation where multi-functional teams compete to outperform each other through creating profit and value, while maintaining levels of cash flow. In this simulation participants will:

  • Gain a “big picture” understanding of the business and how to interpret financial statements
  • Analyse how cash flow and financial success are impacted by their decisions
  • Build financial confidence when working with people at all at levels
  • Identify ways to continually improve organisational performance and increase overall productivity

This simulation workshop is ideal for people of all levels looking to upskill on financial acumen and can be customised to meet individual business needs.


Participants simulate four years of business management: planning, operations, finance and people development. At the end of each year they complete full balance sheet and profit & loss statements. A short analysis session is conducted, followed by immediate application exercises. Teams make decisions that every CEO / business owner will make e.g. how to price products, which customers and markets to compete for, how much stock to buy and how to pay suppliers. Participants learn how to read business statements, understand key indicators, and experiment with different business scenarios (for example what will happen if we reduce/ increase prices by 5%).

Business Acumen is a half-full day instructor-led workshop facilitated by Wilson Learning or Ignite Purpose leader-trained professionals. This enables:

  • Face-to-face interaction among the participants and with the facilitator
  • True-to-life skills practice with immediate in-person feedback
  • The opportunity for real-time commitment to action
Enabling Improved Performance

This program is designed to wrap around your current business model and to support your leaders and employees in truly understanding business strategy. In order to support your team and business we recommend customisation of the debrief to support your teams in applying the financial acumen in the workplace.

This workshop strengthens alignment around an organisation’s strategy, contributes to successful implementation and ultimately improves financial performance. Participants will:

  • become more cost conscious and aware of their own impact on financial outcomes.
  • develop an understanding of how their behaviour impacts value-creating activities in the organisation and, in turn, understand how this impacts gross margin.
  • make behavioural and process changes to increase the gross margin impact of their actions and decisions.
Measurement and Evaluation

Organisations that implement Business Acumen have access to a range of tools to measure initial behavioural changes and business results.

To learn more about measuring the impact of learning, visit Measurement and Evaluation Services.

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