Throughout my career in Business Development (BD) there have been many lessons learned; some through simple cognition, some through experience, some through positive reinforcement, and some from the school of hard knocks. From time-to-time these lessons come back around to remind us that they lurk in the shadows watching, only to manifest again when the opportunity presents itself to remind us of the bounds for our left and right lateral limits.
Business Development is fundamentally built upon relationships. At times it is a game, like spy-vs-spy gathering, holding back, and/or sharing information, but it is ALWAYS rooted in inherent trust between people; long-time friends, new acquaintances, and competitors alike. Trust greases the gears of BD to allow contemporaries in a mature market anticipate, leverage, and exploit areas of opportunity towards the enterprise's strategic goals.
Nothing is more humbling than navigating our way through the forest of Expectation Management, only to find a disruptive entity blocking our expected path toward those goals. Disruptive forces create some of the greatest lessons learned, and can come at the cost of success.
One key enabler to avoid disruptive pitfalls that I have come to value over the years is Lexicon.
That is, rather, the understanding that not everyone shares the same definition for commonly used terminology. Words and their definitions (lexicon), are the glue that bond and hold our interpersonal relationships together, and without common understanding the bond cannot hold. This is particularly precarious when we are working to establish new relationships; something Business Developers do on a continuous basis. We must be mindful of the potential dual meaning of words and phrases, that can gum up our interpersonal gears, and negatively disrupt smooth operations.
Along these lines, I wanted to share a link to an article I found on the web some time ago, which provided me with an important lesson in lexicon that I continue to leverage to this day. It is a March 21, 2012 article published on www.forbes.com, by Mr. Scott Pollack (Contributor), entitled "What Exactly is Business Development". I share it here, now, in my first BLOG post (ever), as the foundation for this online endeavor.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every time I read it, and am reminded of the lessons which lurk in the shadows.