Business development is part of everyone’s job description, whether stated or not. After 2008, it’s all hands on deck in terms of defining and continually demonstrating your contribution to keeping your company or start-up productive, solvent and profitable.
You’ve been hired by a company, or are forming a start-up, because of what you bring to their business table. What you bring, that special “touch” of yours, are your core capabilities, or core competencies. Your core capabilities are one or more areas of specialization or skills that you and your company or start-up perceive as being central to establishing and retaining your functionality, your relevance, your worth. Your core capabilities are your contribution to the business. They are your contribution to generating revenue for your startup.
Your core capabilities are your differentiator.
Your core capabilities aren’t your academic degrees and certifications. There are a lot of engineers. There are a lot of MBAs and PhD’s. The acronyms appearing after your name on your business card let folks know you have completed some formalized type of education and training. Those acronyms appearing after your name on your business card set up expectations about the minimum viable delivery of your certification and academic degree. After that, your success in the globally competitive marketplace is based on how you deliver, time and time again, no matter whether the project or customer is different, the timeline is long or brief, or the team is less than ideal.
Your core capabilities are the “spin” that you, and only you, put on how you deliver based on your education and training. Your core capabilities are how you translate what you know and what you can do into something tangible and transactional for your company or venture.
Your core capabilities are unique to you; they are all about how you deliver your professional DNA.
It’s not simply a matter of responding to feedback on a performance review or making sure you deliver against KPI’s. There’s more to your own equation than someone else’s metrics.
You can begin finding out all the people your deliverable, your output, touches. What are the results of your core capabilities after your own last “touch?” It’s more than delivering results to an interdisciplinary team meeting and thinking your participation is “collaboration.” It isn’t.
Where does your data go, and why? Could you have provided better output and insight if you only had understood the needs from all of your internal customers, as well as their external customers? Who are the folks who really use your output, but are never at the team meetings? How can you work with them before, during and after you hand-off your output, so that your productivity not only is translated to that person, but also becomes an important component of the final business transaction?
That is how “what you do” translates into revenue creation for your company.
It’s no longer acceptable to play “small” in your organization. Your contributions, your core capabilities, are far more important than you give yourself credit for. Or they could be. If you would only take the time to stretch your perspective beyond your quarterly sales quotas or your engineering design output or the tactical aspects of project management.
You are responsible for understanding and articulating, in language everyone can understand, how your core capabilities, your products, your services, your platforms, your intellectual property, provide value to your colleagues, your organization, and your clients. (From Do YOU Mean Business?, p 61)
When you begin to collaboratively create output with the knowledge of exactly where your output goes and who needs to extract value from it, you differentiate your relevance and value to your organization.
How will you start to put this strategy into play this week?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo back into small and mid-sized businesses and creates revenue-producing business strategies for technical start-ups seeking investors and early customers. Babette is recognized as one of the “2013 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.” Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.