Insightful Ideas

Learn more about our leadership expertise and topics related to business acumen, strategy execution, new leadership and finding your own personal balance of leadership.

Five Ways to Build Business Acumen

Insight Experience’s simulation-based learning experiences train corporate leaders in developing business acumen and financial literacy. Without fail, I am asked by one of my students at the close of sessions how they can continue to build their business acumen skills and knowledge. For this there is no shortage of resources. One just needs an abundance of curiosity. Here are some of the best resources available to build those business acumen muscles.

Bringing the People Side of Leadership to Life through Character Archetypes

Leaders deliver results through others. How leaders work with teams, peers, direct reports, and bosses is key to driving business outcomes. Business simulations that use characters to explore how leaders interact with others create powerful opportunities for actionable learning. Intentionally building characters into a business simulation experience helps leaders practice the various types of employee development interactions that they see and encounter in the real world.

Strategy Execution Terms: A Metalworking Approach

Goals. Objectives. KPIs. OKRs. Metrics. Success Factors. Vision. Mission. Purpose. And then there’s the elusive “Value Proposition.” Companies use these terms differently, and departments use them differently within the same company. Does this vocabulary matter? If it does matter, why?

Insight Experience: One of Inc.’s “Best Workplaces 2021”

We here at Insight Experience have an extra skip in our step these days, because we are thrilled to be included in Inc. magazine’s list of “Best Workplaces 2021”. This award recognizes and honors 429 companies that “did the most to support their employees and keep them engaged through a turbulent year.”[i] Insight Experience is proud to be named one of those companies “that make work worth it.”

Large Scale Meeting? Large Scale Learning!

Most of our clients use business simulations in virtual or classroom settings. Groups of 15 or 25 or even 50 are the norm, and our simulation experiences trigger interesting interactions, great discussion and debate, insights in a business context, and great relationship building. Participants leave the experience with insights about themselves and their roles.

Take a Walk through the Strategy Execution Cycle

Every manager must be able to take the strategy handed down from above (sometimes more clearly than others!) and make that strategy work for their teams.  The Strategy Execution Cycle lays out an interconnected path for making that happen.  First, a manager must Understand what the larger strategy is – the big picture and the larger goals.  Based on that understanding, the manager must then Translate it in terms, metrics, and expectations that are meaningful to the team.  Implementation of the strategy is the day to day work of the team, meeting customer needs, responding to the unexpected, and working toward the expectations set in the Translate stage.  The Measure stage checks performance against those expectations, and the Adapt stage course corrects.  But the stages cannot happen only linearly -- all of these stages happen multiple times over the course of any business’ regular operations. 

Looking Back to Move Forward

Last week in the U.S., the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people “can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.[i]” Does that mean everything can go back to “normal”? And if so, can we as individuals go back to the way we were? The truth is all of us will have different reactions to what has happened over the past 14 months — and to what lies ahead. So much of what we have learned and discussed about leadership over the past year will continue to be relevant as leaders take on this next transition back to normalcy. So, while we might be ready to ditch the restrictions, let’s make sure to hold on to some of the important lessons we’ve learned along the way.