Companies invest a lot into recruiting and onboarding new staff. Most of your probation period is used to train and evaluate your ability and fit within the organization. How confident are you that your training plan is adequate?
Most training plans focus on product knowledge, skills, processes and methodologies but very few focus on overall business acumen. This critical component of training is often left out because we hired seasoned professionals who may be highly educated so it is reasonable to assume they already have general business acumen. But, do you?
Most training plans overload new hires with spoon-fed information from the history of the company to how to use the tools and resources required for the role along with the day-to-day expectations, activities and how to do those activities. What is rarely provided is the context of why it matters. The absence of context causes engagement to fizzle out and success to stall. Most of the acumen that we develop happens over time so the length of professional experience is directly proportionate to the level of overall business acumen. Still, more must be done to accelerate general business acumen as a more critical part of success.
What can you do when your development plan is absent of business acumen training? How can you overcome this critical component of success?
- Read the books that executives read
- Watch the TED talks that executives watch
- Set up Google alerts for the company, its competitors, the industries and personas as well as thought leaders
- Review internal job descriptions of the roles you will interact with the most to understand what their KPIs are and what they are held accountable to and then try to figure out how your role supports them
- Meet with executives within the organization to learn what their priorities are and what they care about and do the same with peers and those at levels below you
- Follow thought leaders on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to their blogs
The more you understand business the better you can relate to the people you interact with on a daily basis. When your company’s training plan is lacking in general business acumen use these tips to elevate yourself and stand out from the crowd by owning your business acumen development.