The Past is Prologue:  How to Win With Past Performance

The Past is Prologue: How to Win With Past Performance

In a typical proposal to a federal agency, companies must demonstrate that they (1) have a sound technical solution or product that will address the challenges described in the Request for Proposal (RFP); and that they (2) have successful experience in previous contracts doing similar work. In other words, proposals are finely balanced between the […]

For a More Productive Life as a Proposal Professional, Daydream at Work More Often

For a More Productive Life as a Proposal Professional, Daydream at Work More Often

In 1990, a young researcher for Amnesty International was stuck on a train between London and Manchester, staring out of the window for hours as the other passengers busily read newspapers, books, and magazines and tried to work. No doubt many thought this individual was a dreamy, unproductive person with nothing better to do than […]

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional?  Be More Generous!

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional? Be More Generous!

As businesspeople and proposal professionals, we are deluged with advice about how to be more efficient, more productive, more creative, and more successful at work. Much of this advice is useful, but when people are asked what they really want from their work, besides making a decent living, the #2 response is a simple one […]

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times bestseller help you become a better proposal professional? I am not talking about the latest novel from James Patterson or Stephen King but Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (2010). Over the holidays, I read this book and found many ideas in it that we proposal […]

Tis’ the Season:  Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Tis’ the Season: Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Most of us would like to believe that the meetings we lead as Proposal Managers are lively, engaging, brief, and inspiring. However, I seriously doubt if attendees hold the same high opinion of our meeting skills as we do. So, inspired by an article in the Huffington Post by Sarah Cooper on “10 Tricks to […]

Want to Improve Your Proposals?  Listen to a Lama!

Want to Improve Your Proposals? Listen to a Lama!

On the proposal blogosphere, there are many helpful pieces about improving proposal development processes. We certainly can always be enhancing our color reviews, our debriefing sessions, and many other important elements in proposal development. However, any processes in any organization are only as effective as the people who implement them. The same is true for […]

Want to Improve Your Proposals?  Go Take a Walk!

Want to Improve Your Proposals? Go Take a Walk!

In the proposal field, we like to boast about how we pulled an all-nighter to finish a $100 million bid or the time we worked for 36 hours on a proposal minus a four-hour nap under our desks. We expect to spend long hours on proposals and are proud of our fortitude and ability to […]

Do More Asking and Less Telling in Proposal Development

Do More Asking and Less Telling in Proposal Development

In my previous blog, I began by pointing out that “we all would like to believe that we are extremely observant and highly rational, especially when it comes to proposal development. Alas, there is little evidence for this in proposal development…or any other of our endeavors.” I then briefly reviewed a new book that was […]

How Much Do You Really Notice in Proposal Development?

How Much Do You Really Notice in Proposal Development?

We all would like to believe that we are extremely observant and highly rational, especially when it comes to proposal development. Alas, there is little evidence for this in proposal development…or any other of our endeavors. Over the last few decades, scholars in applied behaviour psychology and economics such as Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahnemann, and […]

What Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Entrepreneurs?

What Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Entrepreneurs?

I admire entrepreneurs, although I certainly do not consider myself one. From my uncle who built a successful mattress and box spring factory in my hometown from scratch to today’s Silicon Valley titans, entrepreneurs seem to have certain traits in common regardless of their interests. In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Joe Van […]