I ensure the "modi operandi" of your business development and bid teams directly support your corporate goals and imperatives.
During my 12 years as a bid strategist and coach, I've repeatedly observed considerable scope for improvement in the way B2B/B2G organisations compete for high-value contracts through formal submission processes.
Clearly, a key element in the "improvement" equation is the upskilling of the bid team per se, along with the streamlining of the bidding function.
Another key part of the effort involves increasing the degree of connectivity, and proficiency of information transfer, between an organisation's business development personnel and its bid team.
Also critical to its success is ensuring that the practices of these two teams support – rather than sabotage – corporate direction and goals at the higher level. Often these goals are subject to never being fully understood further down the organisation, lost in translation at the operational level or, in the case of the bid team specifically, pushed aside in the face of almost-always-reactive bidding activity.
The Peak Success Recipe: Strategic & Operational CohesivenessWith a firm appreciation that strategy establishes the framework for the operations of a successful enterprise, it has increasingly become my focus to help organisations create strategic and operational cohesiveness . . . in order to foster peak performance in revenue generation. Working at the senior executive level, I combine my understanding of the higher-level strategy issues with my many years of detailed, hands-on work in the business development and bidding trenches.
My client base has spanned an extensive range of “B2B” and “B2G” industries including, but certainly not limited to: civil engineering and infrastructure construction, Information Technology (IT), telecommunications, financial services, insurance, logistics, facilities management, transport, manufacturing and professional services.
(Read my Clients' Comments or see my Client List.)
Contributing most significantly to my appreciation of corporate strategy, however, has been my specialisation in project alliancing and collaborative contracting bidding. In this form of big-ticket civil infrastructure contracting, client procurement agencies team with multiple service providers in structures independent of their respective "mothership" organisations, to deliver projects against highly-publicised strategic imperatives. These state and/or nationally significant megaprojects are rarely won on a purely price/tactical basis, bidding for them requiring not only a detailed understanding of client-side imperatives at the highest possible level, but also an understanding of the higher-level corporate strategies at play within the various bidder organisations.
Sponsored by the industry, I produced what is considered a seminal work in this area: the Cracking the VfM Code duo, How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting, and Cracking the VfM Code in Collaborative Contract Bidding: Value for Money ... Understanding It & Articulating Your Ability to Deliver It.
On the note of books, I've also written – for the benefit of all B2B/B2G industries – a full portfolio of how-to books on high-value bidding. This includes my flagship, Think & Win Bids: Winning High-Value, High-Stakes Bids through Superior Questioning, Listening and Thinking Skills – a work that is fast becoming required team reading in many organisations.
" . . . We have included your books for distribution to our teams around the world . . . "
Don Braid, Group Managing Director, Mainfreight Limited, New Zealand
Don Braid, Group Managing Director, Mainfreight Limited, New Zealand
My Point of Difference: Thinking versus 'Tools and Templates'I also develop and deliver bespoke training (although I prefer the term "coaching") programs.
It would be fair and accurate to say that a trademark of my consulting and coaching style is my insistence upon originality and genuinely strategic thinking, as opposed to the “tools and templates” that I see, time and again, erode other BD and bid teams’ capacities for independent thought.
In fact, in Think & Win Bids, I actively eschew (and offer superior alternatives to) template-based, “boxed-in” thinking (and any "licensed" or "proprietary" process) and the vanilla outputs and results it delivers.
I teach my “coachees” how to think strategically, originally, logically, creatively . . . how to think in new ways that underpin the achievement of both their objectives and their clients’ objectives. I don’t use tools and templates. I don’t use “models”. I don’t rely on someone else’s thinking ... homogenised, simplified, genericised and packaged up in template form. And I specifically and passionately coach my clients not to do so either.
While many other coaches and consultants endeavour to reduce the formulation of strategy to a series of canned and template-based processes, my entire coaching and consulting approach is based on teaching my program participants and my clientele, how to rely on their brains ... how to become strategists in their own right.
New, Fresh Philosophies & PracticesA little about my background in the field of high-value bidding and submission production, per se.
I entered this field before it actually was a field . . . back in 2003 when, if you sought help with the "pointy-end" (as I call the bidding process) of your BD pursuits, the best option you'd have come up with would have been "tender writers".
Prior to 2003, I'd been a marketing consultant (self-employed for a decade and a half) providing services that had included formulating positioning strategy to help secure key accounts and ventures.
Increasingly, during that time, my deep-thinking, investigative and strategic approach was recognised by clients as particularly valuable in helping them produce the actual documentation they submitted to win big-ticket bids and proposals. They saw, from my approach, what the rest of the B2B and B2G world has since come to realise: that a solid research and thinking process precedes sustained, non-price-based commercial success.
Genuinely Relevant Skills & QualificationsThe multi-faceted and unique skill set required to service the bidding arena comprehensively and competently was also accumulated in earlier roles as diverse as industry researcher and competitive intelligence analyst, journalist, editor and author, public relations consultant, marketing manager and brand manager. These positions and experiences all helped in the development of the well-honed, seamless skill set companies need not only of a bid strategist and writer, but also of those that are needed to provide genuine thought leadership in the field.
My very early career days included my role as a ministerial press secretary and Governor General speechwriter (at 20, New Zealand’s then-youngest); my time as a reporter, photographer and assistant editor, overhauling a national motor trade magazine (at age 22); a stretch with New Zealand's then-largest public relations consultancy, Network PR; the publication of my first hardcover (text)book at age 24, and my role (at age 26) as National Public Relations Manager for Australia’s then-largest wine group.
Meantime, my more novel early career pursuits included a series of multi-year, mobile and memorable assignments on behalf of two different corporate collectives (in two different industries) that saw me stationed in the United Kingdom, the United States, South East Asia and South Africa collecting, analysing and reporting on marketplace and competitor industry activities . . . and my stint at the Royal College of Duntroon (Australia) as an officer cadet with an ardent desire to learn the secrets of military intelligence.