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April 2018
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TD Magazine

Talk the Talk

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Learn business vernacular to influence business success.

Understanding one's external customers helps you appreciate your internal clients' talent needs. To do so, talent development professionals should have conversations with key stakeholders. But those conversations can be daunting, especially when talk turns to value proposition or cost of goods sold.

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After introducing common business nomenclature in "Business Acumen Basics for Talent Development," Robert S. Brodo presents a four-step process to put business acumen skills to use.

First, understand the business context and why a change is needed. Once you have a threshold of understanding about your organization's competition (What can you do better than your competitors, such as provide better service?), as well as potential threats (new competitors), you can establish credibility with stakeholders and delve into business challenges.

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Second, engage in a dialogue with internal stakeholders to determine desired outcomes. After you've been in conversation and learned more about how things currently stand, you can switch the conversation to desired business outcomes. You may pose questions such as:

  • How will we know we've been successful?
  • What are the key business factors that are challenges or opportunities that will help us achieve success?

When you have had these discussions, you can move forward with the final steps: designing appropriate solutions, and delivering solutions and measuring their impact and effectiveness.

These tips were adapted from the April 2018 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at www.td.org/TDatWork.

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About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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