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Asking Why and What If

The best business developers I know are among the most creative people I know. They’re always questioning the status quo (“why?”) and trying to figure out if there is a better way to do things (“what if?”). Often they are a burr under the saddle of firm administrators and partners. Business developers typically question or ignore the routine and seem to have a hard time following rules, which can make them difficult to deal with operationally.

I suppose maintaining the status quo answers our need for order in a chaotic universe and allows us to keep the corporate machine adequately greased and running pretty well.

What we don’t always see is that it can act like a boa constrictor, slowly squeezing the life out of creativity. Strictly maintaining order usually runs counter to finding new ways to bring in and keep clients. And it almost never inspires innovation.

So the next time you get irritated with those who question the status quo by looking for a different approach, hold on a minute. Remember what’s made these people successful: asking the right questions of themselves, their clients and their prospects. Let them ask you why and what if. In pondering the answers, you just might be starting a conversation that will lead to great results for your firm.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009