“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet.” — William Shakespeare
Where Do Names Come From?
Does a name really matter? The Affordable Care Act was given its name before it was implemented and tested in the marketplace. Based on this fact, one must conclude that the name was chosen either for its intentions and/or to influence public opinion. What other reasons could there be?
What comes first, the name or the reason for the name? I suppose a name can be arbitrarily assigned for no other reason than we need a word for it. Even so, the name eventually takes on meaning and significance, sometimes more than the object itself. The Cleveland Browns is a franchise consisting of players, coaches, supporting staff and stadium. This includes the heritage and the name. In 1995, when the owner made plans to move the franchise to Baltimore, the city threatened legal action. The team name was so important that it became a major bargaining chip in the compromise that in the end, allowed the owner to move the team to Baltimore, but leave the name behind.
Names are assigned to something that is real or at least created in the mind. I’m not aware of any situation where someone created a name first then set out to make something that fit it. “Google!” That’s a cool word. I think I’ll make a Google this week, IF I can decide what it is.”
Business Development – A Confusing Name
Sometimes a name takes on brand new meaning even to the point where it has so many meanings that the name becomes confusing. This brings us to the topic of the week: business development. Some people associate it with the sales function. Others would say business development is about building infrastructure or strategic business relationships. Product development is another perspective. So which is it?
What you most often associate with business development probably depends on your personal perspective. Here are two definitions that bring clarity to the name and accommodate our multiple perspectives:
“Business development is … the process of uncovering the “unknown unknowns” that can help to grow a company. The key is to focus on specific metrics that define growth for your business and then seek out the partnerships, people and products that increase those metrics.”
— Source: www.businessinsider.com
“In 1997, the international Committee of Donors for Small Enterprise Development coined the term ‘business development service’ to describe services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete. BDS includes training, counselling and advice, developing commercial entities, technology development and transfer, information, and business linkages.”
— Source: www.ilo.org
I like both of these definitions for their strong emphasis on people. Even more, I like what Zig Ziglar said. “You don’t build a business –you build people– and then people build the business.”
Clay Mathile, former owner of IAMS, once said this, “When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back. When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”
People are the intended beneficiaries of business development. They are also the cause of it. Therefore, business development is “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Any activity that develops people is at the heart of developing business. For this reason, I am proud to say that Wright Cross Performance Group, a company that develops people, is in the business development business.