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.
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.
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.