As people professionals, it’s critical that we understand organisations – their purpose, future direction, priorities and performance – as well as the external influences and trends impacting them.

We also need to understand the wider world of work – and how organisations contribute not only to the lives of their employees and customers, but society as a whole. Understanding these aspects of work enables us to anticipate external events and internal issues, and identify how people practices can add the most value – and, therefore, contribute to the sustained success and development of organisations.

Within this area you’ll also find the practical business knowledge that you need, such as understanding business models, financial literacy, strategic planning, and supplier management. Knowledge of how to use these business skills is critical to operating successfully as a people professional within different types of organisations and environments. And this applies whether you’re employed by one organisation, or working for several client organisations.

This is why Business acumen is one of the largest knowledge areas in the Profession Map; we need a deep understanding of the world of work if we are to be effective in creating value for organisations, their employees and workers, and wider society.