๐Ÿ’ธBiz Dev Bucket

What is the Business Development (Biz Dev) Bucket?

A pot of funds set aside from Greaterthanโ€™s Commons Budget to financially support people in Greaterthan to pursue leads and other business development activities for potential Greaterthan projects.The funds in this bucket are generated directly from our long term client projects, which contribute an extra 5 % to the GT commons for this purpose. Hence there is a correlation between the availability of these funds and the number of long term (retainer) projects we have at a given time, and it is replenished on a monthly basis through this mechanism.

The scope of this bucket is primarily to have an easy process for members to be compensated for their time invested in business development efforts; and secondarily to be able to offer additional rewards for biz dev efforts that lead to a sale, which are not sufficiently compensated within project budgets.

The first version of this bucket was originally agreed upon in 2021, and the process below decided by consent in June 2022.

Who can make use of the funds in the bucket?

The funds can go to partners, associates and explorers engaged in biz dev activities. In the case of explorers, it is important that an associate or partner is actively supporting that person in the sales process, to ensure coherence with Greaterthanโ€™s approach, skills and capacity.

What can be paid for?

Please note that these are common examples for what it may cover, but this is a non exhaustive list.

  • Time: time spent pursuing a biz dev opportunity: sales calls, responding to RFPs, writing proposals, grant applications etc.

  • Biz dev expenses: following a lead or pursuing biz dev opportunities may incur expenses, such as traveling to meet someone in person or participation in an event. Depending on the opportunity, 50-100% of these expenses may be covered out of the biz dev bucket.

Important: if the lead converts to a project, the expectation is that the project covers the compensation for the biz dev and sales work. If the sale is not successful, then your time and costs can be compensated from this bucket.

How to claim funds from the bucket

Note: everyone in GT is free to pursue biz dev opportunities (they see fitting in GT's area of work) without checking with others. However, if you would like to get paid for that work, then we recommend following the below process.

Step 1: Check what funds are currently available in the biz dev bucket pot (in Open Books).

Step 2: Get in touch with the biz dev bucket stewards (see below) via Slack on the #bizdevbucket channel, and discuss the opportunity you would like to pursue or have started pursuing. Assess together whether this lead seems worth pursuing, based on factors such as work required, likelihood of success and how strategic the opportunity is for GT. At this stage, you might gather advice from other GT members to make the decision.

Step 3: Decide together by consent with the biz dev bucket stewards whether you will pursue the lead with financial support from the biz dev bucket or not. If the answer is yes, at this point, have a first conversation about what compensation would make you feel energized and supported to follow this lead. This number will be revisited at the end, as described in the process below. Ensure the decision is transparently documented in a decision log.

Note: Depending on the opportunity, step 2 +3 may happen async, through a few slack messages. The objective is for this process to stay as light-touch as possible!

Step 4: Closing

Once the sales process is complete, circle back to the bucket stewards.

  • If the project sale was successful, your biz dev efforts will be compensated through the budget of that project. The biz dev bucket funds that were on โ€œholdโ€ will be made available again.

  • If the project sale is not successful, then you and the bucket stewards will check in on whether the original compensation amount agreed feels โ€˜happyโ€™, or whether any adjustments are necessary.

  • Once the final number is determined, the biz dev bucket stewards will inform a member of the admin team (ideal the 'Open Books Guardian role') about the amount, so that the balance of the biz dev bucket is updated in Open Books. They will also post an update to the members only channel #pipeline-and-new-projects sharing the amounts and additional context behind the decisions, to ensure these are transparently documented. See an example of such a post here.

Practicalities of money flow

Once the decision has been made and you know whether the sale came through or was lost, the money flow can happen.

  • To be compensated for your time, invoice Greaterthan following the steps in our invoicing guide.

  • For expenses, we recommend paying directly with a Greaterthan credit card. To do so, get in touch with any partner, who will be able to give you the payment information. Once the payment has been completed, send an email with the receipt to accounts@greaterthan.works, and put the Bucket steward in copy.

  • Once itโ€™s clear whether the project was won or lost, the bucket steward will ensure that the cost is correctly attributed to either the GT Core BU, or the internal project budget.

Alternatively, you pay upfront and then be reimbursed by adding it to your invoice to Greaterthan.

Bucket Stewards

The biz dev bucket must always have at least one, ideally 2 stewards (for resilience purposes), whose role it is to:

  • Keep an overview of the financial state of the bucket

  • Hold the below described process for drawing funds from it

  • Communicate to members if there are any issues, or a need to evolve its purpose or functioning Work with people who do biz dev to ensure coherence with overall GT activities

Current Stewards: 
Susan Basterfield
Tomomi Sasaki

Who can be a steward and how to become one?

Biz Dev Steward is a persistent paid role, held by associates and partners. One of the two should be a partner. Stewards rotate on an annual basis (ideally with one steward staying while a new one joins).

Since the workload of the steward role may fluctuate heavily and is hard to predict at this stage, for now there is a quarterly happy money story among the stewards on how much to pay themselves from the biz dev bucket fund for their work. This approach may change as we learn more about this work in practice.

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