The Business GRID

HR Business Acumen Simulation

“The real business is external: the context and setting in which the business operates, the expectations of key stakeholders, and the strategies that give a company a unique competitive advantage. If HR professionals are truly to contribute to business performance, then their mindset must center on the goals of the business.”

Dave Ulrich et al., “HR from the Outside In”, McGraw Hill

The Virtual Programme

This programme is for HR Professionals who want to improve their business acumen, be part of decision making processes, present business cases and help drive business performance. The experiential nature of this programme teaches how business really works and how strategic direction affects daily operations, and what they in HR can do to move the numbers in the right direction.


Corporate Corporate Corporate

The board-based simulation represents the workings of a company, complete with sales, marketing and financial operations, participants learn how money moves through their business and how HR decisions can affect business results. Each participant is part of a small team, in competition with up to five others. Teams will make the strategic, operational and financial decisions needed to set up, run and expand a business over a simulated period of several cycles.


Course Outline

Day 1
1. Introduction to Business Finance
2. Simulations - January & February
3. Business Strategy Frameworks
4. Simulations - March

Day 2
1. Business Analysis
2. Simulations - April
3. Budgeting and Cost Allocations
4. Simulations - May
5. Valuations & ROI - DCF & NPV


"...the problem with HR is real. One way or another, it will have to gain the business acumen needed to help organizations perform at their best..."

Ram Charan, "It's Time to Split HR", Harvard Business Review Jul-Aug 2014

Learning Outcomes

1. Gain a big picture understanding of how businesses apply strategy to deliver business results.
2. Know how to interpret and analyse financial statements and ratios.
3. Gain the ability to discuss business challenges with line managers.
4. Create value through HR interventions that apply financial and business analysis.
5. Understand the challenges of organisational Change through a HBS Case Study.


The Facilitator

Sekar Shanmugam

Sekar Shanmugam who has spent the majority of his 24 year career working for leading companies like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Maxis in senior business leadership roles gives participants a front row seat of the challenges of running a business and the expectations business leaders place on HR.

Sekar has led organisations with full P&L, sales and operational responsibilities and brings together his hands-on business and people leadership experiences to this programme.

His achievements include leading his organization through the 1997 Asian financial crisis, managing the integration efforts in Malaysia during the merger of HP and Compaq in 2001 and steering HP to win the Computer World Malaysia "Best Support & Services" inaugural award in 2001 and again in 2002 against other industry IT giants. He also had a stint with an agri-business start-up where he led the creation of a new brand of packed fresh vegetables after identifying a gap in the Asian market.

Sekar holds a Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Malaya and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.






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