“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done.” Steve Jobs
Whilst most people understand their day to day jobs, the broader picture of how an organisation makes money can be difficult to comprehend or lost in the day to day. Organisations often become clogged up with their people being busy, operating in their silos with a lack of focus and effort being expended on the wrong things.
After working with dozens of clients to develop Business Acumen across their organisations, we have learnt that people in businesses want to become more effective and valuable, secure their seat at the table, influence decisions and impact company performance. They want to use their full potential to help their business make money and sustain profitable growth.
They want these things for two reasons. First, we all instinctively seek out greater engagement—a way to feel that the work we do is worthwhile and makes a difference. Second, they understand something crucial. If you want to be in a better position—a job you like more with better pay, better long-term opportunities, and financial security – you need to understand the key drivers of business and use that knowledge to make good things happen.
The 5 Key Drivers of Any Business
When you break down even the largest, most complex multinational company—such as Apple, or large ASX listed organisations such as Telstra, Qantas or CBA—into its most fundamental elements, you’ll find the same drivers power business:
These 5 Key Drivers help you to understand how even the most complicated business can be evaluated and improved. The 5 Key Drivers combine in multiple ways to form the foundation of strategy, products, market position, financing, human resources, and every other decision in a company. Leaders must set and achieve goals and obtain results in these five areas in order to achieve the most important objective for any company: long-term, sustainable profitability to support its purpose.
While each driver is unique, it is also completely dependent on all of the other drivers. You cannot affect one without influencing the performance of another. Leaders have to take the connections between the drivers into account as they make their decisions, or they risk becoming overly focused on one driver and running an idea into the ground.
Your ability to understand these relationships and affect these drivers through your decisions and actions can increase your own ability to contribute to the long-term profitability and growth of your company, as well as focus on what’s important.
We have identified business acumen as a critical competency and capability for leaders, helping to break down silos, speed up decision making and accelerate performance using a common language to all businesses, your financials. We have partnered with Acumen Learning to bring the very best content in the world. Our expert facilitators customize the programs into your business context. Integrating content and context is what makes this program unique.
Kevin Cope is the CEO of Acumen Learning, Author of Seeing the Bigger Picture and has been teaching leaders the five drivers of business for over 15 years. To hear Kevin talk with our senior partner Eric Miller on the topic of business acumen, please click here to listen to the podcast.
Our customised Building Business Acumen® training will help any professional, from any industry, gain a bird’s-eye view of their business, improve their track record of success, align decisions to corporate strategy, fix problems and prevent new ones, break down communication barriers, take advantage of opportunities to grow, and much more.
At Lighthouse, we make change possible by making leadership practical. If you are interested in developing business acumen, in your team or your organisation then please get in touch with us here, on 1300 244 373 or at firstname.lastname@example.org