The Essence of Business Development – Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration



“The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication.” — Harold S. Geneen

According to Michael E. Gerber, Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration are the backbone of every extraordinary business.

They are the essence of your Business Development process.

In The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, Michael Gerber explains how Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration are key to your business development process.

The Big Picture of Business Development

Here are my key take aways from Gerber’s insights:

  • Innovation, Quantification and Orchestration are the keys to your business.  Innovation, Quantification and Orchestration are the backbone of business development.
  • Innovate in how you do things.  Innovate in how your business does business.
  • Quantify it.  Know the impact of your innovation.  Quantify the impact of your innovations.
  • Bake your innovations into your business processes.   Turn your innovation into results.

I have to admit, I really do like the distinctions and the precision that Gerber puts to the business development process.

What he’s really emphasizing is that your business is a living, breathing system with people and processes and that to survive, your business needs to continue to grow and learn through innovation.

But innovation doesn’t help if you don’t know the impact or if you don’t actually make it a part of your business.


The 3 Parts of a Business Development Process

According to Gerber, the three parts of the business development process are Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration.

Via The E-Myth Revisited:

“Building the Prototype of your business is a continuous process, a Business Development Process. 

It’s foundation is three distinct yet thoroughly integrated activities through which your business can pursue its natural evolution.  They are Innovation, Quantification and Orchestration.”


Gerber says you should innovate the way in which your business does business

Via The E-Myth Revisited:

“The Franchise Revolution has brought with it an application of Innovation that has been almost universally ignored by American business. 

By recognizing that it is not the commodity that demands Innovation but the process by which it is sold, the franchiser aims his innovative energies at the way in which his business does business. 

To the franchiser, the entire process by which the business does business is a marketing tool, a mechanisms for finding and keeping customers. 

Each and every component of the business system is a means through which the franchiser can differentiate his business from all other businesses in the mind of his consumer.”


Gerber writes that you should quantify your innovation so you know the impact and where to spend your energy.

Via The E-Myth Revisited:

“But on its own, Innovation leads nowhere.  To be at all effective, all Innovations need to be quantified. 

Without Quantification, how would you know whether the Innovation worked? 

By Quantification, I’m talking about the numbers related to the impact an Innovation makes.”


Create order, not more chaos, so you can focus your business on bigger and better things, than re-inventing the basics from scratch every time.

Gerber writes that you should integrate your most effective innovations into your processes and routines.

Via The E-Myth Revisited:

“Once you innovate a process and quantify its impact on your business, once you find something that works better than what preceded it, once you discovered how to increase the ‘yeses’ from your customers, your employees, your suppliers, and your lenders — at that point, it’s time to orchestrate the whole thing.

Orchestration is the elimination of discretion, or choice, at the operating level of your business. 

Without Orchestration, nothing could be planned, and nothing anticipated — by you or your customer.  If you’re doing everything differently each time you do it, if everyone in your company is doing it by their own discretion, their own choice, rather than creating order, you’re creating chaos.”

Reflections on Business Development

Reflecting back, I now see how a combination of customers obsession + continuous innovation was the key to creating growth in every successful organization I was in.

We pushed innovation and changing the game.

It wasn’t necessarily about innovating in the product, though we did that too.  It was about innovating in how we built what we built.

I can also see how organizations that died, didn’t innovate.  They did not create new value.  They did not adapt to changing needs in the market.

They survived for a period of time mostly from inertia.  Their short-term success was based on past value creation and innovation.

While the business could squeeze the same lemons for a while to make lemonade, eventually there was nothing left to squeeze.

At the end of the day, business development is about continuously figuring out the pains, needs, and desired outcomes of customers in a market.

Which effectively translates to, what are people paying for, as payment is an exchange for value.

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