Digital Business Development Initiative

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Digital Business Development Initiative


Digital business development refers to an organization’s leverage of digital capabilities and aligned strategic, marketing, and sales activities to approach the market and customers, and enable value-creating growth.

The mission of the Digital Business Development Initiative is to advance the research, education, and practice aspects of digital business development, offer a leading network to address the profound impact of digital transformation, and open new paths of opportunity for the future of work in the digital economy.


The pursuit of excellence in research, education, practice through leadership, mentorship, partnership, and professional development in a digitally transformed economy.

About digital transformation and digital business development

The average life span of companies is shrinking.

In 1965, the S&P 500’s listed companies had an average tenure of 33 years. In 2000, it was 15 years. By 2027, it is forecast to drop to 12 years. Since 2000, 52 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have seen a decline in market capitalization, been acquired, or gone bankrupt, as a result of digital disruption.

Organizations face significant challenges as they endure and embrace the complexities of change in digital transformation. Understanding how digital transformation applies to organizations’ business development strategies is of critical importance for tomorrow’s business leaders.

As organizations face the fast-moving era of digital transformation and a software-defined approach (e.g., with social media platforms, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and bots), they are called on to redesign new leadership roles and functions at the interface of strategy, marketing, and sales (e.g., chief revenue officer, chief digital officer, chief customer success officer, account-based marketing, corporate and sales enablement).

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School is in a unique position to equip tomorrow’s business leaders for the future of work with advanced knowledge and skills, shape business practices with unwavering humanity in the midst of technological disruption, and build for what’s next.

By leveraging the three pillars of research, education, and practice, the Digital Business Development Initiative aims to help our partners and students make a difference by addressing the various new challenges posed by digital transformation. 

Research, education, and practice in digital business development

Grounded in the Dulles Tech Corridor and at the Carey Business School campuses in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this exciting initiative is a tech lab for research, education, and practice in digital business development.

Through research, we advance a cross-disciplinary and cross-function understanding of digital business development, and the related effects on the future of work for the strategy, marketing, and sales disciplines. We leverage our access to high-quality and technology embedded data to explore the critical challenges of digital business development.

Through education, we provide a resource and venue to advance the learning of digital business development, especially where digital disruption is in play. We design and conduct innovative executive education and coaching programs for companies and executives, and we host leadership conferences, workshops, and events.

Through practice, we work with leaders in the field of digital business development and conduct competency assessments to advance their skills. We develop case studies and share the best practices of digital business development.

The Digital Business Development Initiative collaborates with a variety of experienced researchers, research assistants, and teaching assistants at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and at other institutions.

Digital Business Development Initiative Leadership

Joël Le Bon

Professor of Practice
Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Andrew Ching

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Want to learn more about the Digital Business Development Initiative?