Lessons Learned or Lessons Collected?

Things rarely turn out precisely the way we hoped.
Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we can figure out why.
If we find the lesson and learn from it,
it might be even more valuable
than if we’d simply gotten lucky.
Seth’s Blog

Forget “rarely.” In Proposal Land, things never turn out precisely the way we’d hoped.

We lose the bid.

We win the bid but have trouble making money.

We come up with a profitable plan but can’t persuade anyone to do another proposal, ever again.

So do a lessons-learned exercise every time, gathering external and internal feedback. And then add a lessons-learned review at the start of your proposal process so you can start out smarter. Don’t let this effort degenerate into “lessons collected.”


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2 Comments

  1. Jim Taylor

    For one year, I was the congregational staff person assigned to supervise an intern studying at the Centre for Christian Studies, to become a diaconal minister. Details unimportant. I met with her every week. She had a few problems with drinking, sex, and other things, which meant our discussions were long and complicated. After a while, I gave up trying to offer advice, or counselling, or anything else. I resorted to a single question, over and over: “What have you learned from this?”

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Socratic! I think some counsellors take a similar tack. It presumes that the person knows more than they think they do, and that the biggest benefit is from working it through for themselves. Not so very different from the self-examination that ought to conclude a proposal effort. 🙂

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