In Australia, the federal election is just about to happen. So for the last six weeks, we have been treated to a once-in-every-three-years display of politicking designed to win our vote. OK, a confession. I’m a bit of a politics geek. I follow election night stats the way others follow football. And I have been known to engage in a bit of heckling on behalf of causes I believe in. (I’ll leave it up to you to guess how I'll be numbering the boxes on Saturday!).
Combine my personal interest in politics with a career in business development and you get someone who just can’t help comparing political campaigns to the campaigns we wage (or don’t wage) to win and retain important contracts.
The election campaign takes less than six weeks (though at times it feels like much, much longer). During this time, our pollies have been tweeting, Facebooking, flying around the country and appearing on any TV program that will have them. Case in point - the TV interviews that Tom Gleeson did with Julie Bishop and Pauline Hanson in his segment “I Hate You, Change My Mind”. (Julie Bishop’s performance in that interview really did change my mind. Pauline’s? Not so much).
What’s most fascinating to observe in an election campaign is the way that people behave when they know it’s make-or-break time. Our politicians absolutely understand that what they do now will determine the job they get – if they get one at all - for the next three years or more. Will they be elected? If so, will they be on the winning side or the losing side? How much impact will they really be able to have for their electorate and for the causes they believe in?
There’s a lot riding on how politicians perform in this campaign - and of course, in the weeks and months that led up to it.
In contrast, think about the contracts that you have coming up for bid soon. You’ll have four weeks to respond when the RFT comes out.
What are you doing to get your agenda in front of the customer now, before the probity period locks down? What are you doing to boost performance? To innovate? To leverage your incumbency advantage, and fence off the business from competition? In most cases, if you’re honest, the answer is probably “not as much as we should be”.
If you have an important contract that’s coming up for bid in the next 12 months, let’s make sure you have a re-election campaign to retain it. Get in touch and let’s talk about how I can help you and your team to get ready to re-compete.