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October, 2013

Five Steps to Improve Business Acumen

Business acumen is defined as: "keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome."

Unfortunately improving business acumen is not a pursuit of many business owners and leaders. Fortunately business acumen is not a gift at birth and can be learned through experience and formal training. Effective mastery of business acumen will allow you to understand how your business makes money and impacts your bottom line.
Check List
What is business acumen in practice?
Kevin Cope, author of "Seeing the Big Picture," describes business acumen as "the ability of an individual to view the business with an 'executive mentality' in that they understand how the moving parts of a company work together to make it successful and how financial metrics like profit, cash flow, return on equity and company value reflect how each of those moving parts is doing its job."

What is a successful culture?
Specifically someone who has a strong sense of business acumen has the following . . . read more.

Mike Brice
Phone: (206)226-1617

Feature Article

The Most Valuable Business Commodity: Trust

by David K. Williams, Contributor

David Wiliam's article on Trust raises a number of great points that we can overlook as we navigate the daily crises and issues of our respective businesses. We cannot overlook the emotional health of our organizations as it will influence the quality of the decisions that will be made throughout the organization on behalf of the business. At the end of the day expertise and knowledge may not be enough to hold a group together when it is the collective trust that each has for others that will allow a group and a business to prevail.

Examples of healthy organizations are where people:
  1. Are loyal to one another.
  2. Never judge - seek first to understand.
  3. Laugh with (not at) others.
  4. Take issues directly to the source.
  5. Express genuine appreciation up, down, and across their organizational structure.
  6. Set your standards very high.
  7. Recognize that people aren't problems - problems are problems.
  8. Smile frequently.
  9. Don't start sentences or thoughts with, "What's in it for me?" but with, "How can I serve you?"

Trust is based on the Quality of Promises.

  1. How committed are team members to keeping their obligations?
  2. Do employees hold peers accountable for their commitments?
  3. Do team members consider promises to customers to be no more and no less important than their promises to peers?
  4. Is everyone at your organization willing to forgive themselves and one another?
  5. What happens when circumstances cause people to fail to keep commitments?
  6. Read the full article for more information on how this information may apply to your organization.

Click here to read the complete article.
Note: Ask yourself the following questions.
  • Do you have a measure of the health of your organization?
  • Do you examine the interchange between members of your executive group?
  • Do you have a high trust function within your organization?

If you are looking for guidance on developing a culture development plan contact Mike to learn about the Executive Coaching services available from Brice Consulting for you and your organization.

Leadership Resources
Business Process: Many people in business believe that "process" is something to be avoided, that it can only slow down and dumb down the business, and create bureaucracies. This is 180-degrees wrong. Appropriate processes are critical for any high-performance organization. We explain why.
The Necessity of Process Management (5:14 min)

Competitive Advantage: In today's highly competitive market place, effective marketing is increasingly essential for business success. Effective marketing requires a clearly defined "competitive advantage." A company's competitive advantage defines the unique value it provides customers and clearly explains why consumers should buy a product or service.
7 Steps to Creating a Competitive Advantage (5:26 min)

IT Strategy: Information Technology is a strategic asset and an enabler of a business operation. What is your Information Technology strategy?
5 Principles on Using Information Technology to Improve your Business (9:44 min)

Workflow: What is Workflow Management? Watch this short animation and find out
Workflow Management: Visualized (6:33 min)

Leading Teams: Just when you think you've got your team and situation figured out, things change - especially when you're growing. Leading teams of less than 10 people is different than leading teams of 10-30, and then leading teams of more than 30 presents additional challenges and opportunities.
Why You Must Lead Differently As Your Team Grows

Branding: By turning employees into trusted brand ambassadors, companies bring their strongest asset and their most vocal internal advocates in direct contact with their customer base.
Want To Find Brand Ambassadors? Start With Your Employees

B2B: A disruptive new sales model, however, is emerging: digital-enabled enterprise sales more closely resembles B2C e-commerce models where large enterprise customers can research, test, and start paying for products without stepping away from their computer and with minimal sales touches.
Sales disruption eruption: B2B sales go consumer

Sales: Improve sales, hire one senior person rather than two junior people, and exercise patience when hiring.
Best Advice I Ever Got: Rameet Chawla

Management: It doesn't matter if you sell lipstick or screwdrivers: Former Revlon CEO Alan Ennis says these rules apply to anyone who wants to be a better leader. 
Former Revlon CEO: 4 Management Rules to Live By

Wi-Fi Security: Security myths are pervasive. What once worked in the early days of computing, for example, might still be cited as a best practice even though it hasn't been effective in a decade or more.
Wi-Fi security precautions that don't work

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