Strategy and Business Development

I get in contact with a varying amount of organizations in a diverse set of roles in my life as a consultant.  

One such role is that of a Strategy and Business Developer, which I currently am at an interim gig project I currently am working with. These are titles most would feel they have a good understanding of – but what does a strategy consultant do? What does a Business Developer do? As compared to a Strategy Business Developer?

As always when trying to find answers, we start by looking at scholarly works and at how the market views these roles.

These days most scientific articles are found in online databases. Picture from Pixabay.

Despite the amount of research being done on the subject of strategy, none has given a clear definition of what strategy development is1. As a consequence, there are a large and varied amount of frameworks stating how strategy is to be developed and implemented.

Concepts relating to strategy started to be developed in the 1930:ies, with the focus of research changing in tandem with changing needs in the market.

Business Development is as it sounds: ways of developing a business, to attract and retain new business – a fairly sales and marketing focused concept. Business process modelling encompasses the description of the structure and behavior of an organization’s value adding activities2. Business processes have goals that are triggered by either internal or external events; these goals are of strategic nature and can be both qualitatively and quantitatively assessed and followed up.

At the heart of business strategy lies a need to be dynamic, and as you may know from previous posts and cases I have worked with I am a fan of workshops as tools to quickly get hands-on information about an organization, to brainstorm and create inclusion and buy-in from stakeholders.

Workshops have been seen to be more inclusive than traditional planning approaches to strategy development3. The importance of knowledge has created a case to take the power and strategy accountability to a wider range of stakeholders – from mainly being a business of top management and C-suit to one involving a wider range of line roles and employees.

So did research give a clear answer on the question of what Strategy and Business Development is? No, and we will continue to have a varied set of frameworks and definitions. As long as we find one that works best in a given scenario and organization, all is well.

Got any questions or want to get in touch?

  1. “Strategy development: past, present and future”, Rainer Feurer, Kazem Chaharbaghi, Management Decision, Vol. 33 No. 6, 1995, pp. 11-21. MCB University Press Limited, 0025-1747
  2. “A Framework for Modeling Strategy, Business Processes and Information Systems”, André Vasconcelos, Artur Caetano, João Neves, Pedro Sinogas, Ricardo Mendes, José Tribolet Centro de Engenharia Organizacional, INESC Inovação.
  3. “The Role of Strategy Workshops in Strategy Development Processes: Formality, Communication, Co-ordination and Inclusion”, Gerard P. Hodgkinson, Richard Whittington, Gerry Johnson, Mirela Schwarz, Long Range Planning 39 (2006) 479-496