We limit the spaces on our event to 8 participants - for quality reasons, it's a masterclass after all.

Recent praise for the event:

"Numbers are not my thing, so understanding the detail is painful but very useful" - Andrew G, HRBP, Local Authority.

"The strategy and the financial detail has really helped me understand the language of finance" - Rachel J. HR Manager, Manufacturing.


Unless HR understands how the business works, they are not likely to meet this expectation. The course also highlights how everyone’s job counts towards the continuing success of the company and why all individuals must contribute by making commercially sound decisions.

This workshop has been designed to provide HR Business Professionals with the business and finance skills, perspectives and tools that they require to become more commercially astute within the company. To help them make the most effective decisions – decisions aligned with company strategy.

Key Benefits

The primary aim of the Commercial Awareness programme is to generate greater understanding among attendees of how the company works and what makes it successful. This will include:

  1. Having a clear understanding of the company's business environment. What is the competition?
  2. Recognising company strategy and the vital role HR has to play
  3. Understand how, where and when the company makes money and decode the jargon used so extensively by the finance team
  4. How being able to read financial statements helps you understand the challenges facing your colleagues
  5. Understanding why ratios and comparative analysis play such a big part in your colleagues’ day
  6. Creating a simple budget using accepted principles
  7. Being able to blend these elements together while examining your own or a specimen business case

Who Should Attend?

  • Those new to the HR role who want to get to grips with the wider corporate demands of this powerful opportunity
  • Aspirational HR team members who want to know exactly what is required to develop their career
  • HR Business Partners who want to develop their broader business skills or focus on key areas for development
  • HR Managers and others with responsibility for HR who need to know how HR relates to other parts of the organisation

Commercial Power -  Business Acumen for HR Professionals,
Focus Areas

1. The Business Environment

Many other players are involved in the business; current and potential future competitors, suppliers and, of course, customers. How does the company fit into this busy, competitive industry? How will knowing about our marketplace help in my daily job?

  • Who are our customers and what is their contribution to our income and margins?
  • Why do they buy from us?
  • Who are our suppliers?
  • Who are our competitors? What are the barriers to entry and exit?
  • Which are our main markets currently?
  • How many products do we sell?
  • What legislation or guidelines do we adhere to?

2. Strategic Acumen

  • A critical strategic question is: where do we compete?  Strategy is about more than just operational decisions; it has ramifications in every business segment.
  • Competitive Advantage – gaining and sustaining it
  • Learn why executing strategy is far harder than making it
  • Discuss what it takes for the firm to stay successful
  • Apply practical thinking skills to make commercially sound decisions and to keep strategy on track
  • Understand the vital role HR has in successful strategy execution

3. Financial Acumen

  • Having gained an understanding of the wider environment and the industries in which the company operates, the next stage is to consider our finances.
  • What do all the terms mean in these standard financial documents?  Participants will be encouraged to draw parallels with their roles to illustrate and will work through simple examples.
  • The three key financial tools — How businesses keep score:

Income Statement
Cash Flow Statement
Balance Sheet

  • How to interpret the information into everyday decisions
  • What impact does HR have on all three of these statements?
  • What are our costs or overheads?
  • What important role does HR hold in controlling cost structures?
  • Appreciation of the need to make a return based on the capital employed in the company
  • Basic principles of creating a budget. Training budgets may be used as an example

Throughout the day the workshop will introduce case studies, live business examples and film footage to embed the learning points. It is stressed this is very much a participatory day. Attendees will be encouraged and challenged to associate learning points with their individual situations.

A comprehensive workbook will be provided, including a number of free business templates to take away.

Your Expert Masterclass Leader

Your expert for this masterclass is EUGENE O'CONNELL, with over 30 years experience in the finance industry, EUGENE has a vast experience and repertoire as a previous lecturer in Finance and Senior Manager with RBS.

Dom Weatherhead, Global Account Manager at Incisive Media said 'he is committed, engaging and very knowledgeable. Eugene has the ability to create great training environments, allowing all participants attending his courses to thrive. Eugene excels when it comes to designing and delivering high impact programmes. '

More praise (some people call them reviews, for the event):

"What a comprehensive day! I've learned an incredible amount which gives me confidence to understand what's being said at senior meetings now"  - Cesar Y, HR Lead - UK Charity.


Book for Commercial Power - Business Acumen for HR & L&D Professionals
Masterclass, Friday 10th June 2016

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We look forward to seeing your on our next Masterclass!

We allow no more than 3 participants from a single organisation and maximum 8 participants on our events. If you have more than 3 excited attendees, please contact us using the form below or call  0207 566 5797 and you could save immediately on costs ...

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