Making Business Acumen Sense of the Pesky Increasing Inflation Rate

By Robert Brodo | Apr 16, 2024 7:57:36 AM

Every quarter, Advantexe’s business acumen modeling team meets to discuss the core interest and inflation rate in our business acumen simulations.

“I guess we better make the adjustment and raise them again,” said our top modeler very matter-of-factly. So, beginning this week, the core interest rate in our core (non-customized) business simulations will go to 5.25% and the core inflation rate will go to 3.5%. As our participants run their simulated companies, that means foundational Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), raw materials, and labor will continue to rise.

The goal of our business acumen simulations is to help our participants better understand business concepts so they can explore the simulation and bring their lessons back to their real-world decision-making.

Read More >

Leadership Lessons from a Leader’s Leader: Tom Boyer

By Robert Brodo | Apr 12, 2024 7:54:16 AM

I was scrolling through LinkedIn waiting for my flight to take off when I saw a posting from @TomBoyer.

Tom is one of those rare individuals you meet in your life that you never forget. His genuine and authentic leadership style is something I have tried to emulate and more importantly, is something I use as an example of what good looks like when explaining the difference between good and great.

Some background…

I first met Tom when he was the General Manager of the Alpharetta Marriott in 2011. Back then, I would travel there at least once a month and usually stay for a week. Every morning, Tom would be in the lobby greeting guests and asking them about their stay, and every afternoon, after everyone would come back to the hotel, he’d be in the lobby and bar area interacting with the guests and again asking them how they were doing and if there was anything that he could do to make their stay more comfortable.

At first, I didn’t know what was going on to be quite honest. I didn’t understand how everyone who came into the hotel knew this man and what where they were talking to him about. He was asking about their families, their work, their health, anything and everything. In addition to the guests, you could also see how he interacted with his staff who simply adored him. Although he was their manager, it was very clear that he was the leader and they followed him because they believed in him.

Read More >

“Owning it” in the Age of Remote Working

By Robert Brodo | Apr 9, 2024 7:20:08 AM

It is a familiar story around the world every day as business leaders grapple with finding the tools they need to lead effectively so they, their teams, and their companies can achieve their goals and objectives.

In the post-COVID reality of the remote workforce where still more than 50% of the workforce works remotely, the rules have changed, and it is more challenging for leaders to find the right approaches and tools to get their direct and indirect reports to “own it.” By own it, I am referring to a mentality or attitude where individuals take full responsibility for their actions, decisions, and outcomes. It involves acknowledging mistakes, accepting accountability, and actively seeking solutions or improvements. People with an "own it" mindset don't blame external factors or others for their failures; instead, they focus on what they can control and take proactive steps to address challenges or setbacks. This mindset is often associated with personal and professional development, as it develops resilience, accountability, and a willingness to learn and grow from experiences.

As Advantexe continues to design, develop, and deliver our award-winning business leadership simulations, I thought it would be valuable to share with readers of this blog the latest research we are seeing in terms of the 5 best practices leaders are executing to get others to “own it” in the age of remote working.

Read More >

What if your CEO Asked You What You Thought About the Earnings Call?

By Robert Brodo | Apr 3, 2024 7:53:53 AM

Every 90 days, the executive leadership team of every publicly traded company delivers an earnings call to shareholders and analysts to review the previous quarters’ business results and to discuss and share future performance through forecasts and general guidance.

These earnings calls are very important and can significantly influence the analysts and more importantly, the employees of the company. The best leadership teams can uniquely combine humility, transparency, and data into a story that gives direction and convinces analysts to want to buy more stock in the company, hold their stock, or sell their stock. It can motivate or demotivate an entire workforce. It is said there is nothing better than a great earnings call to fire up the employees and nothing worse than a terrible earnings call to put them in the doldrums.

Over the past few years, I have heard more executive and senior leaders push their employee base to listen to the earnings calls as a way to learn more about the business and to help create better internal alignment around direction and decision-making. Unfortunately, most of these same executives believe less than 20% of their company listens to the earnings call and maybe at best 2% of the company can follow along. And that is startling.

Read More >

The Top 3 Skills Everyone Is Looking for at the End of Q1

By Robert Brodo | Mar 29, 2024 7:35:02 AM

The first quarter of 2024 is now in the books. From a value creation perspective, the S&P index has grown by about 10% and the Dow Jones Index by about 6%. This strong and steady growth has occurred in the face of continued volatility coming from socio-economic issues, inflation, the unemployment rate, weather conditions, and world population health factors.

One of the most important pieces of research Advantexe continually seeks is information gathered from our Training and Development clients to understand what skills they are looking to develop for the rest of the year and beyond.

Based on our continued conversations and surveys in Q1, 2024, the top three skills large, global organizations are seeking to develop are:

  • Collaboration
  • Business Acumen
  • Leading a Culture of Innovation

What has been interesting to discover is the consistency of both the definition and focus on these specific skills they are seeking to solve. That hasn’t always been the case. For example, a year ago the most important skill companies were looking to develop was providing feedback as a form of coaching. What many found out was there is no one definite and easy definition or methodology for teaching how to give effective feedback. Here at Advantexe, we implemented several major Coaching & Feedback simulations, and they are all growing into the 2nd and 3rd year of implementation which means immersive, practice-based learning is one of the only ways to teach those skills.

Read More >
Advantexe Learning Solutions - The Power of Practice