The Business Acumen Programme

The Business Acumen Programme

business acumen


what is business acumen
Business acumen has a wide variety of definitions. Our take on the above question is as follows: it is the ability to deeply understand the business consequences of decisions as they are taken. It is the aptitude to predict, with great accuracy, the outcomes of business decisions. One is said to possess a high level of business acumen when he / she foresees the different forces (internal and external) that will influence the end result of taking the hard calls.

Why Is It Important?

Two of the main characteristics in today’s business environment are change and volatility.

We have seen in recent years a great surge in the efforts from
multinational and global firms to streamline business processes. We have
also seen a mass migration from a bureaucratic style to lighter, more flexible
and faster organisations.

What all this shifting is really about is:

– Survival

– Effectiveness

– Efficiency

– Profitability

Leaders need to develop the skills of business acumen in order to achieve their goals. One of the key learnings of this program is the capability to quickly make decisions based on a 360 degree vision of the value chain of the organization.

This capability will allow you to arrive where you want to be in terms of bottom line results and organizational excellence.

Programme Take Aways

Developing business strategies and consequences on active implementation.

Assessing decisions while being customer-focused and market-driven.

Understanding demanding market environments (adaptable to major markets and customer requirements).

Importance of decision-making and dealing with organizational and customer diversity.

Understanding organizational inter-relationships and dynamics.

Cultivating a cross-functional approach to optimizing results. Understanding what builds value in an organization including the key drivers for business success.

Understanding financial and performance measurement, including performance management at all levels.

Utilizing performance management (including the Scorecard principles) as a management tool rather than just for ‘performance measurement’.

Linking ‘hard’ business skills with ‘soft’ issues, i.e. interpersonal skills and leadership.

Developing an entrepreneurship orientation and taking ownership of business units.


Programme Modules

The business management simulation process follows a well researched, logical flow through the decision-making process involved with managing a business – this not only resembles real-life situations, but allows for participants to draw on their own personal experience as well as learning interventions undertaken earlier.Note that participants work in small groups reflecting a management team (with specific responsibilities) as well as interaction with facilitators through role-play. This ensures a serious learning environment rather than ‘just playing a game’.

com sim

The business acumen experiential learning process takes participants beyond knowledge and into performance – it allows them
to interact with problems, investigate options, consider possible outcomes and of course, implement solutions and evaluate the actual outcomes.

This process includes the practical utilization of appropriate inter-personal and leadership skills that will typically be required (i.e. negotiating budgets, setting and contracting performance standards, optimising team performance, motivation and leadership).

The programme structure is such that it leads from one learning area to another, always building on previous learning experiences. The process was designed around a carefully planned set of interactive sub-processes that vary between balancing “hard” business issues, performance requirements and the interpersonal and leadership requirements for successful achievement of the company philosophy.


Key Benefits

  • Focus on experiential learning.
  • All learning is focused on achieving the required learning outcomes with continuous feedback loops from experienced faculty.
  • Flexibility in presentation formats to deal with specific issues.
  • We can accommodate previous learning, tactical aspects as well as strategic issues of clients.
  • Building powerful teams.
  • The ‘small team’ concept is not only powerful in team building but entrenches the principle of building small, powerful teams in the work place.



Marius Pretorius, Senior Associate & Strategy Consultant

Dr. Marius has 25 years training at university level and is a managing member of Management Transfer cc. He is a HBDI practitioner with 18 years business experience.

And he is currently an associate professor in strategy, leadership and turnaround at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Dr. Marius has worked with clients in the banking, manufacturing, FMCG and service sectors. Among his clients are: Coca-Cola, Central Bank Swaziland, BMW, Development Bank of South Africa, Nedbank, Van Wyk & Basson Building Contractors, Pietersburg Chamber of Business, Department of Public Works, Roads & Transport of Mpumalanga Government, NRE Fuel & Gas distributers – Ladysmith, Northern Province Department of Public Transport, Megamed Group of Pharmacies, Northern Transvaal Steel and Reinforcing and many more.
He has worked in many different parts of the world, throughout Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, the Far East. He particularly enjoys the challenge of working in a multi-cultural environment.

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