Infographic: What is Business Acumen?

November 8, 2018

Business acumen. It doesn’t really matter what industry, it’s the biggest thing that executives tell us they’re looking for when hiring at the sole contributor level and above. For many executives, it’s even more important than relevant experience. “If the candidate has business acumen,” the thinking goes, “they’ll be an effective contributor to my team. I can teach the rest later.” Someone who has business acumen just “gets it.” They can figure out their place in a business and quickly learn how to provide value, even if they’ve never done a specific function before. The concept has taken on almost mystical overtones.

But what is business acumen, anyway?

The response might be, “you know it when you see it,” but that isn’t exactly helpful for burgeoning professionals trying to figure out how to gain business acumen and advance their careers. At Argentus, we aim to demystify and clarify. So we made this infographic explaining what business acumen is, where it fits into Supply Chain and Procurement (our vertical), and how to go about learning it. It’s not an exhaustive guide, but we hope it’s a good jumping off point for anyone looking to take their career to the next level.

We hope you found this infographic informative and entertaining! As we said, business acumen is pretty much mandatory for anyone who wants to succeed in Supply Chain Management in 2018.

We also recognize that, despite our experience, we’re not the be-all and end-all for deciding what constitutes business acumen and how to learn it. So join the conversation! How do you define business acumen, and where should young professionals go about learning it?


  1. Eugene Fernandez

    Very good infographic on Business Acumen which many Procurement/Strategic Sourcing/Supply Chain professionals fail to develop even at Director level. Hence they often lack Financial literacy, Assessing Risk and Innovation Opportunity using their over 10,000 vendors to increase Sales Growth and drive rapid change specially today.

    Was also impressed with the Purchasing and Procurement/Strategic Sourcing Infographic which highlights the differences many in the field cannot explain.

    Finally hats off to the Amazon Vs Uber Inforgraphic and a view into the future, a must for all in Procurement/Supply Chain to read NOW and so modify their Strategy.

    • Argentus

      Thanks very much for the kind words Eugene!

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