Study: 27 Percent Feel Leaders’ Lack of Knowledge Has "Very Great" Impact

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<p><strong>Seattle</strong></p><p>The dearth of business acumen is an important issue in organizations, particularly among managers, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The study showed that of the nearly 400 respondents, 27 percent feel that the lack of knowledge among organizational leaders has a "very great" impact, while 40 percent consider the impact "high" and 25 percent feel it is "moderate." For individual contributors (such as engineers and white-collar professionals), the negative impact is seen as moderate (40 percent) to high (35 percent).<br /><br />"A lack of business acumen among managers is like a lack of swimming skills among lifeguards: It&#39;s dangerous and just shouldn&#39;t happen," noted Mark Vickers, i4cp&#39;s vice president of research. "But the survey suggests that others can benefit from such skills as well, including engineers and technical staff. If the people building the products and the infrastructure of the organization don&#39;t &lsquo;get&#39; the business issues, they&#39;re less likely to produce what their customers &mdash; both internal and external &mdash; actually need."<br /><br />Regarding the lack of business acumen at the technical level, 34 percent of the respondents rate their company&#39;s concern over the issue as "high" or "very high." When those who see it as a problem to a "moderate" extent are added, the number jumps to 83 percent.<br /><br />And while the majority of the respondents feel that business acumen is important, they are spending very little money to develop that competency. According to the study findings, a full 67 percent spend less than $1,000 on business acumen training.<br /><br />Additionally, the problem isn&#39;t only local. Forty-one percent of respondents say the problem is domestic, 21 percent consider it an issue globally and 38 percent say it is both domestic and global.<br /><br />When it comes to addressing the knowledge deficit problem, the most common approach is in-house training, favored by 70 percent of respondents, followed by off-the-shelf training options at 42 percent. Recipients of the training are mostly managers and above (50 percent) and high-potential candidates (46 percent). For the training, most companies (56 percent) rely on training companies, while 54 percent turn to consultants.<br /><br />The Business Acumen Practitioner Pulse Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in January 2008 and had 394 responding companies.<br /></p>

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