Developing The Nuts And Bolts of Business – Why Should You?

Studies, research and anecdotes all suggest that the development of business acumen in businesses is often neglected or poorly conducted, yet it is one of five key skill-sets vital to business (the others being leadership, management, personal skills & technical skills)
Much is written about the definition of business acumen. It’s been defined as “understanding the company’s business model, in essence, How the company makes money” ,“knowledge of accounting and finance, marketing, sales and interpreting financials”, “understanding company-specific processes and product offerings.” “…keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome.”
In essence (and for the sake of brevity and this article), if one has Business Acumen then one understands and knows how to use the nuts and bolts of business. It is this understanding that helps drive better decisions, which, in turn, leads to businesses meeting or exceeding their targets, expectations and strategic intentions.
I suggest, however, that there are two levels of Business Acumen in organisations, which are interlinked and overlap. The first is found in individuals and the second is found across the organisation.
So What?” you might ask. Put simply, Business Acumen is one of the five key skill areas that businesses must foster in order to grow sustainably, create value, keep abreast of market changes and develop strategically. Continue reading

The Insanity Of Running … An Old Git’s Perspective

Healthy trail run

Running – Why do I do it?  It hurts, it aches and I get blisters….yet three times a week.

Every run is different but mine all seem to follow a similar pattern that starts with anticipation and ends with an ache.  In between there’s a dozen different stages – some longer than others but all with their own characteristics….

Why We Run

The Anticipation is a warm feeling of contentment – the invincible feeling; the lie that I’m twenty two years old and not an old git, fighting the ravages of age with no grace whatsoever.  It normally starts around midnight the night before as I drift into the chaos of whacky dreams It ends with a black then as the GPS searches for satellites.  And why do I worry about PBs – I’ll never be good at running and it makes no difference whatsoever.  I’m at the age that doing it is more important than timing it.  But I still get my knickers in a twist about it! Continue reading

A Resilient Learning Culture – The Conditions, Why & How….

Learning cultures – a phrase often bandied around and warmly embraced by executives and academics – and rightly so, for without a learning culture businesses would find growth difficult, HR issues irresolute and communication turgid. But unfortunately, lip-service is paid to the development of a Resilient Learning Culture – a learning culture that is collectively owned, is robust enough to withstand external and internal pressures and, critically, delivers real, tangible value to organisations, teams and individuals. If it doesn’t it’s useless and a waste of effort.


Resilient Learning Cultures (RLC) offer a tangible, clear competitive advantage in HR terms to a business, for they encourage the flow of ideas, creativity and critical analysis across a business. In turn, that generates a culture of worthwhile work – good for individual and for business. In tandem with other key drivers, they help develop a creative culture and they help nurture, then retain, talented people whilst attracting other talented people to the business.

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St Albans half marathon

Last Sunday, eight June, saw the st Albans ½ marathon. My thanks to the organisers for an exceptionally well organised event; plenty of water stops, an enormous amount of support and 13 miles of undulating Hertfordshire Lanes, on hot Sunday morning. I am really pleased with the time of 1:58, particularly as we had done very little training.

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Keeping Meetings Effective

How many times to get to meetings that last longer than we anticipated, that fail to to agendas and and the meeting meanders into areas that have little relevance to the objective?  How often do you wonder what the point of the meeting was and secondly whether or not it was achieved by the meeting?  It is estimated that in America every day there are 11 million formal meetings. That extrapolates to almost 3 billion meetings in America every year. Is your organisation guilty of meeting overkill?  If it is, then you would not be alone. Continue reading

Maximising Volume Growth

Sustainable Volume Growth – so fundamental to the medium and long-term health of almost every business and yet rarely clearly defined or understood at every level of the organisation.

How often do we hear talk of “growing the business” and how the business will grow in the next XX years, without a pan-company understanding of what is meant by volume growth and, critically, how we going to do it? Continue reading