Axial's Growth 100 : Noah Zide

Noah Zide

Business Development Manager, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Part of the Crew

Three days a week at 5am, Noah Zide goes rowing on the Charles River. “We row in boats of eight. If it were a boat of one, I wouldn’t be waking up that early in the morning.”

Noah, a business development manager at publisher Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, largely credits rowing with helping to relieve work-related stress. “Anyone who wants to survive this marathon has to find ways to build in self-care — whether it’s exercise, meditation, or family.”

Crew also provides a nice metaphor for the BD function. Just as the boat can’t function without all its members, so business development relies on collaboration. Internally, Noah says partnering with experienced colleagues makes success on a deal or project that much more predictable. “One plus one almost equals three,” says Noah. “It’s all about making sure people are on board.”

The cooperation required can be equally satisfying and challenging. As a BD person, “you’re really relied on,” says Noah. That sense of responsibility is a “terrific mechanism for increasing my performance.”

But the interactive nature of the work can also make it harder to track results, especially when it comes to longer term projects. “You’re not always showing big wins all the time. But a good BD person will shift the dynamic and the progress will be viewed as a win. Evangelizing your own work is even more valuable when you’re in a nebulous role.”

“Evangelizing your own work is even more valuable when you’re in a nebulous role.”

At Wolters Kluwer, Noah is focused on building top-line growth and evaluating any potential software acquisitions and alliances for its unit focused on law school textbooks, as the company looks to cement its digital strategy. “The law school textbook market is basically a decade behind the undergraduate market. But things are changing and quickly. It becomes a zero-sum game, where whoever gets market share in digital products wins. Right now is a really interesting time to be in this space.”