There is a sense in the organisation that business development stagnates. Surely there should be more opportunities available than are now being realised?
The stagnation in business development shows through:
- slow growth compared to competitors
- an ageing product/service portfolio
- major clients choosing alternative solutions
- key players in the organisation leaving
This all led to the question: how can we both create and realise more opportunities?
In co-creation with a team from the organisation, we walked through the various phases of their business development. The participants in this team changed for each phase. The team was further strengthened by bringing in external experts where needed through teaming. Our role was to guide the change process on meta level. The actual knowledge of content came from the organisation and its environment.
Business Development Journey
We charted the business development journey before we started our actual walk through. The journey was written (1) on a manager who signals that value is created that is not being brought to market (persona 1), and (2) on a manager who signals an opportunity in the market that is not being spotted by the organisation (persona 2). Based on this journey, we could formulate a more specific question: What can the organisation – team, management, professionals – do to ensure that these signals will be picked up, evaluated (is it a real opportunity) and followed up? Who will do that? And how?
The journey went through the following phases:
- how do you scan what happens in and around your organisation?
- how are signals picked up? How are they logged?
- how do you decide whether or not to follow up on signals?
- how do you choose what to do?
- how do you engage your people with these choices?
- how do you put these choices into action? (knowing-doing gap)
The journey made clear that the way business development was conducted was footed on choices made in the past and prolonged by certain characteristics in the company’s culture. The question was whether these past choices were still relevant – or whether they should be changed:
- where do you find omissions in the current approach, where should it be improved?
- what would be a better approach?
- what would be needed for this better approach?
- on which actions to be taken can we agree?
Together with the organisation we devised a new approach to signalling and realising new opportunities. More on culture change aspects can be read in our case on culture change.