Business Acumen

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield,” quotes Warren Buffet.

From my driver’s seat, the rear view has been filled with headlines proclaiming the importance of business acumen for sometime now. The articles have been flying by, one after another, like interstate billboards. Unlike the blur of road signs, however, I’m paying attention to a clear message.  Survey after human resource survey places business acumen at the top of the list for success in today’s increasingly strategic HR environment.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) now lists business acumen in its core competencies model; its most recent human capital survey cites 58 percent of HR executives placing business acumen as a critical requirement for HR employees. At the executive level, 83 percent of respondents state that the competency is required upon entry. However, only 37 percent of respondents state that it is required upon entry as an early level HR professional, suggesting that early and mid-level professionals who are looking to advance within the profession should focus on developing their business acumen.

What exactly is business acumen?

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