Can a World War II Manual Help You Sabotage your Organization’s Productivity More Effectively?

Can a World War II Manual Help You Sabotage your Organization’s Productivity More Effectively?

Good advice can be found in strange places, and perhaps one of the stranger places is a manual produced by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was distributed to individuals in Axis nations in 1944 who might be sympathetic to the Allied war effort. It was […]

Do You Have Grit (the book, that is)?

Do You Have Grit (the book, that is)?

From my perspective, most of the popular books about the business world are not worth reading. Many are vanity books while others should have been short articles. I prefer solid biographies and studies in economics, psychology, and the law along with good reporting on contemporary affairs. In 2016, Angela Duckworth published a book that has […]

Five Quick Ways to become a Happier Proposal Professional

Five Quick Ways to become a Happier Proposal Professional

Happiness may be overrated, but the marketplace is flooded with books, articles, and scholarly studies on how to be happier. We are, after all, a country dedicated to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It may be particularly challenging for proposal professionals to pursue and achieve happiness, for our jobs are stressful, deadline-driven, sometimes […]

Write Better Proposals by Studying the Craft

Write Better Proposals by Studying the Craft

Writing good proposals is difficult because writing well is difficult. Unfortunately, too many of us have trouble writing really good proposals because there are many constraints in our jobs and in our lives to writing well. The best way to improve your ability to write good proposals is to write and be thoughtfully critiqued. The […]

How Proposal Professionals Can Improve their Communications Skills

How Proposal Professionals Can Improve their Communications Skills

As I see it, there are two critically important elements in effective proposal development: good processes and good communications skills. It is easier to develop good processes because good communications are a function of our personalities and our social skills as proposal professionals. According to Adam Grant in his bestseller – Give and Take: Why […]

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional?  Learn to be a Great Listener

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional? Learn to be a Great Listener

I meet few people who claim to be below-average listeners, but in our most candid moments we probably all admit to ourselves that listening is a great skill that we probably could do better. Why? The answer is easy – listening has a great effect on our job performance. If you cannot listen, you cannot […]

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

We are all prognosticators, and advice has always been easy and cheap, indicating that often it of little value. Nonetheless, there are trends in Federal contracting that do point to several clear-cut winning proposal strategies in 2016. My advice, inexpensive as it is, comes from the January 2016 “Practitioner Perspectives” of Wolf Den Associates in […]

Tis’ the Humorous Season:  My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Tis’ the Humorous Season: My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Because this is a relentlessly upbeat time of the year, I would like to pour a bucket of cold water onto anyone who thinks they have mastered the art and science of writing a good proposal. Bah, humbug, as Scrooge might have groused. And in the spirit of Scrooge, I have decided to provide ten […]

Want to Become a Better Proposal Professional?  Lace Up your Sneakers

Want to Become a Better Proposal Professional? Lace Up your Sneakers

On LinkedIn and other web sites, I see many articles about the traits and characteristics of successful proposal professionals. While I usually agree with their advice – who would not benefit from listening more and talking less? – most of them miss an important point. If you are not healthy and happy, you are unlikely […]

How to Meet Tight Proposal Deadlines — Take More Breaks!

How to Meet Tight Proposal Deadlines — Take More Breaks!

The proposal profession is a milestone- and deadline- driven profession. We are constantly producing documents and making decisions based on tight calendar schedules. As a result, proposal professionals often spend long – and odd hours at night and on weekends – responding to RFPs. For many of us, these means keeping our bodies in chairs, […]