Business Development

Business Development

The word “development” in the phrase “business development” has always meant something very different than in the phrases “product development” or “software development”. The term “business development” is generally taken to mean finding new customers, building customer relationships, and such like. And thus responsibility primarily resides in the Sales & Marketing silo.

Maybe this is one reason why the idea of “developing” a business, in the same sense as developing a product or a software system, is pretty much unknown to business folks. Many’s the time I have invited business folks to consider the merits of taking a “development”approach to the construction and evolution of their business, only to receive little response other than a sea of blank faces.

Which makes me sad, because there’s an enormous amount of “development” practice, expertise and skills available to apply to the challenges of developing a business or other organisation. I’d say that some 80% of the know-how involved in developing products or software systems is directly applicable to “developing” an organisation.

Have you ever suggested to business folks that “development” know-how could have a massive impact on their bottom line? Or otherwise effectively meet many if not all of their core needs? What kind of reactions have you seen?

– Bob

Further Reading

What, Exactly, Is Business Developoment? ~ Scott Pollack
Prod•gnosis In A Nutshell ~ FlowchainSensei

2 comments
  1. I did recently but never suggested it would do anything for them. In leading up to the meeting I sensed a sensitivity to imposing technology so I took the approach of talking about how we play with ideas and how that playing might be useful in surfacing options in the business area they were looking to develop. It struck a chord and might lead to an actual need being met around finding new ways to think about problems in their space.

  2. Ah, well, as soon as you start expressing the sense of (words or text) from the development practice paradigm in business language AND you can help them see or experience the value, they will grab it out of your hands and run away with it. It’s your problem, not theirs.

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