Recently I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Dawn Russell, a TEC Chair, coach and leadership facilitator based in Perth, Western Australia on the topic of how leaders can improve their firm’s proposals.
We cover a lot of ground in this five-minute interview, including how to develop a multi-million dollar tender; the biggest mistakes companies are making with their proposals; and the practical steps that leaders can take to reduce the pain of their proposals process and achieve better outcomes.
Like many people with a high-flying corporate background, having spent many years with Singapore Airlines, Dawn had worked on a large-scale tender response herself.
Dawn began by mentioning that she had found the sheer size of the client’s request documentation ‘offputting’.
This led to a discussion about how proposals create a cultural problem, where leaders will put other people on the job of churning out proposals in response to tender requests, while they go off in search of work that is more engaging and more ‘fun’.
Dawn clearly agreed with this, in the context of her own experience.
“There’s no way, if I looked at that (tender) document, that I would have thought it would be fun,” she said. “I mean, it was horrible.”
After a bad initial experience, your people will often do almost anything to get out of contributing to proposals.
Take a close look at your company’s culture, and how it is supporting the behaviours you want to see around proposals. This is the first step you can take as a leader to improve your proposals, and your results.