To the degree that it is human nature, it is understandable. On the other hand, to the degree that it is a distracting resource drain, it significantly limits effective business development.
“It” is the search for a Silver Bullet.
From social media to the newest technology, from what’s hot in creative execution to the flavor-of-the-month strategy or consultant, the hope that something new holds the key to what ails us may be the reason we always seem to be starting over. Needed focus gives way to fits and restarts with every new “opportunity.”
Sure…there are times when being athletic enough to shift direction in order to pursue a new opportunity can be an asset. But we shouldn’t mistake it for a strategy.
Notwithstanding the value of innovation, often what is at play here is the hope for a faster, less painful approach to the difficult (not to mention, time consuming) work of connecting, listening, and building productive relationships.
In moments when you wonder at the advances made by competitors, or are mystified by an inability to leverage your investments in business development, consider these two simple tenets:
- Focus wins.
- An important measure of strategy is how often you resist the siren song, and say No.
Few organizations are flexible enough to make any progress while reacting to every great opportunity. Before we alter course in order to take advantage of the next big thing, consider that while we might refer to it as opportunistic, we may have a business development strategy that is little more than waiting (and hoping) for a shiny new silver bullet.