The financial meltdown of 2008 demonstrated, among other things, that no one is essential to their company unless they are meaningfully and legitimately aligned with revenue generation and the business development process.
No one has job security, even if they feel their technical expertise and/or seniority are insurance against unemployment.
The individual who is ill at ease communicating across disciplines within their organization, or with C-level (corporate) decision-makers at customers’ companies, does not bring real value to their company’s table. The marketing and sales professional who views their job as an eighteen-month tour of duty until their next promotion provides only short-term, tactical return on investment for their company; they are disposable once company goals are met. The engineer who is not able to make their technical information accessible and understandable to non-technical professionals becomes a liability rather than an asset to their organization.
It’s scary out there in the career world. All you have to do is listen to the news to get a sense of the precariousness of the economic outlook for the job market. Companies are working leaner and meaner as they struggle to contain the costs of doing business. They are focused on achieving more with less. Organizations are looking for individuals who have the mindset and capabilities that allow them to be trained to function across disciplines. It’s your responsibility to utilize the opportunities at your company to prepare yourself for (a) your next manager, (b) providing enhanced value to retain your current position, or (c) your next job.
There’s no room for finger-pointing or excuses. You have to mean business – and revenue generation – for your company.
The common denominator across everyone’s job descriptions, whether stated explicitly or not, is revenue generation. Revenue generation drives your company, whether you are in the business-to-business sector (B2B) or the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector. Without a revenue stream, you don’t have the luxury of perpetuating the us-versus-them and status-quo mentalities. More important, aligning your perspective and output with your company’s business development process at least grows the skill set you offer to your current employer.
By enhancing your capabilities to include this broader perspective of revenue generation, you become more valuable to future employers.
Do you mean business for your company? Companies need to do a better job of generating revenue by focusing on a fluid and ongoing process that brings in the appropriate people early on in the business development cycle. This process accomplishes the tasks of market identification, product development, and maximizing revenue generation and profitability through optimizing company-wide resources. Conducting business by bringing together technical, marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, operations, and logistics resources to work together in providing solutions for your customers moves everyone one millimeter outside their comfort level.
In the long run, you really have no other option.
Identifying common themes running across all disciplines, and making sure everyone seated around the table understands the terminology and principles of the team, provides opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Deconstructing corporate silos can become a powerful business development tool. Think about how utilizing common-denominator teamwork looks to the customers contributing to your revenue stream. This process allows potential and even current clients to view the breadth and depth of your organization while you solidly demonstrate a collaborative, synergistic corporate culture.
Talk about a differentiator from your competition!
This left brain / right brain, technical/non-technical business development process may feel extremely awkward to you and your colleagues. If departments learn to communicate across disciplines, you will collectively realize that siloed infrastructures and status-quo mindsets are unprofitable. Fiefdom-building will be less easily achieved and turf wars less readily tolerated.
This type of business development-focused model self-selects for non-technical and technical professionals who are receptive to and excel at interacting productively with each other and with clients. You and your internal team members will mean business.
Have I just described YOU?
[This post appears courtesy of a post for www.doyoumeanbusiness.com and is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Do YOU Mean Business? Technical/Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, available on Amazon.com April 2012. For more information and a complementary download, click on the picture of the book at the link provided.]