American Society of Civil Engineers

Creating Business-Development Talent through Mentoring

by Michael Lee Smith, (Dir. of Training and Devel., Air & Water Technologies, P.O. Box 1500, Somerville, NJ 08876-1251)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 2, March/April 1994, pp. 44-47, (doi:

     Access full text
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: All firms need effective business development to obtain new work from existing clients and new clients. Project staff typically learn the “what,” “why,” and “how” of business development from more experienced staff and by making mistakes as they become involved in business development. The learning process is often inefficient and ineffective with those who are learning simply by copying the practices of others who learned the same way, or by making mistakes in front of the client. A more effective method of learning business development is through mentoring, where experienced staff (who do it right) are paired with the new learner so that there is success on purpose and not by accident. This paper presents a six-part model for learning business development through mentoring. Sample questionnaires to assess the program as well as the mentor and learner relationship are also provided.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Professional development