When I learned of the topic for this quarter’s eZine, one of my favorite books came to mind—Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD. The story is a metaphor about life. It’s about dealing with change and avoiding stagnation. It’s a parable that takes place in a maze. Four characters live in the maze, and they must search for “Cheese” to survive. The maze is long and confusing, and the Cheese is often difficult to find. The characters include Sniff and Scurry, who are mice. They are non-analytical and non-judgmental. They just want Cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. The other two characters are Hem and Haw, mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with Cheese. It’s not just sustenance to them—it’s their self-image, their belief system—and they become emotionally attached to the Cheese they have found. The Cheese is a metaphor … Continue reading In search of new cheese – avoid stagnation
How do we know whether we have bad processes or bad habits? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary: Process: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result. Habit: a usual way of behaving: something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way We often follow processes – whether for acquiring new business, managing a project or proposal, or retaining customers – that are based on “proven processes.” The particular result we seek varies, but in general we seek a successful outcome. Yet, even when results are empirically poor, we often continue to do things the same way. For example, perhaps we are chasing new business, and we follow our best-practice business development processes. The result is a downward trend in win rates. While we may hold a lessons-learned session or attend a debrief meeting with the customer to learn why, often we fail to isolate the … Continue reading Bad processes or bad habits?
“Nothing endures but change. Change is the only constant.” –Heraclitus of Ephesus Business transformation, process improvement, continual improvement, business process improvement. Call it what you will. The gist of the matter is that we constantly tinker with the “current state” trying to make it better, faster, more efficient, easier, or more reliable so that we can achieve our desired results. I asked a number of capture and proposal experts to share their responses to the question, “If you could change one thing about the business development, capture, or proposal life cycle or process, what would that be?” Here are their responses – some eminently achievable, some wonderful end-state aspirations. If I were “King,” I would insist that a “yes” bid decision be made only after hard-headed, comprehensive data collection and customer dialog, resulting in a realistic chance to win. There is far too much irrationality in making bid decisions and … Continue reading 6 changes experts would make to the BD, capture, and proposal process