What is Corporate Development?

Malcolm Tatum

Corporate development is a term that references the variety of planning options and strategies that can help to move a company toward its goals. The process of this type of strategic development can be applied to just about any facet of the corporation’s organizational structure. In actual structure, corporate planning can involve finding ways to fine-tune the existing structure of the company or expanding the company’s interest through acquisitions or mergers.

A corporate development team may handle the recruitment and evaluation of potential hires.
A corporate development team may handle the recruitment and evaluation of potential hires.

One of the more common manifestations of corporate development has to do with reshaping the management arm of the corporation. This may involve a process of phasing certain management positions out of the existing structure or creating new positions in an effort to strengthen the management team. As part of this type of approach, corporate development may also demand that one or more current managers are released from the company and replaced with people who possess skills required to move the company forward. When this is the case, the corporate development team will handle the functions of recruitment and evaluation of potential hires.

Just as a management team may be revamped, corporate development may also be employed to change the current focus for clients. This may mean looking into the potential for breaking into new markets with existing products or developing complimentary products that will allow this type of expansion. Depending on the status of the base market, corporate development may also look at shifting away from a shrinking consumer market while seeking market share in a different consumer market with newer products. For example, many typewriter manufacturers during the 1980’s and 1990’s slowly phased out their core business and began to focus more on computer parts and accessories as a way to continue operations.

The process of corporate development can also be applied to the task of growing the company through mergers and acquisitions. In this scenario, the project development will involve identifying potential target companies for acquisitions or unions resulting in a new and more aggressive corporation. The team will consider all possible outcomes from any given potential merger or acquisition and attempt to project if the action is likely to result in positive growth or could possibly impair the company permanently.

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There is no one tried and true formula for the process of corporate development. The actual structure of the corporate strategy will depend greatly on the current circumstances of the company and the area where the development is desired. In most cases, the process will not be of short duration; corporate development is usually a process that takes place over an extended period of time and may be adjusted or refined as the project moves forward.

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Discussion Comments


Corporate Development is highly sought-after as the grail from which success must spring. The Article above makes much of financial refinement, acquisitions, and the strengthening of corporate bonds between companies, but says nothing, quite literally nothing, about the people who are the lifeblood of every corporate entity.

Much has been made of Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen and the tribal brotherhood of similar programmes, yet we have lived through the flagship decade of continuous improvement and the corporate world still suffers the same maladies.

Where are the miracle cures for blame culture, inertia, down time and negativity? These are the deep problems which many managers, directors and CEOs would dearly love to sweep under the carpet, but cannot deny being there. All the structural management changes possible in a company's lifetime are not going to dent the deep-seated convictions of its primary workforce.

Until the management structure learns to respect and nurture the human spirit, the human spirit will continue to resist efforts to instill conformity. The will of the human being is strong. It is a creative life-force and as such motivation is a fundamental need.

Dogma and doctrine live on, those well-tried and tested methods of management which continually fail to reap rewards. There was a time when people spoke openly in boardrooms of blue-sky thinking, dolphins and dinosaurs, singing from hymn sheets and stepping out of the box. But still, we witness the ravages of corporate collapse, incestuous politics and responsibility resistance. There are many who despair of the golden age which never really seems to have materialized.

There is a breakthrough happening right now, and it is only a matter of time before the more enlightened of CEOs take it upon themselves to explore noetic science, to put two and two together to actually make four, not five as the strategists would have them believe, nor three as per the warnings of their chief accountant.

The simple value of the human spirit is a powerful force which most ignore for fear it may strike against them, and indeed it is fair to say that the Jurassic doctrines of many long-lived company directorships have some degree of history which may justify such fear. But in the human spirit there is also room for forgiveness, and a rapidly expanding desire to progress.

People are more prepared than ever to put the past behind them and forge a better future with the powers at their personal disposal.

Noetic science is just beginning to break the boundaries of social thinking and will better place us to progress as we need to, so that personally and collectively we may evolve.

I urge all readers to step up to the plate and make room in their corporate world for real transformation, based on positivity, motivation, respect and goodwill, which are tangible commodities everyone can recognize and actively buy into.

I have seen it happen in the environs of the steel industry with my own programme delivery, and know that the possible transformations are visible and sustainable; words which every board of executives wants to believe in and see evidence of in the results of their own work.

Whatever you do, take the power of noetic reality into your world for the benefit of everyone working therein. --Kathy R.

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