Style-Manual Travails

RFP responses are supposed to look as if one person wrote them. Everybody says so. This is one reason we use style manuals, to standardize usage, terminology, punctuation. Over the years, I have happily ignored the preferences of proposal team members. “What matters,” I said, “is not that it be ‘right’ in some sense, but that it all be the same.” And that’s true enough, but not always comfortable.   Continue reading“Style-Manual Travails”

Signs of Overload

One of my book’s tips for the person managing the proposal team is to watch for signs of stress in the team: signs of overload.  It seems obvious enough, right?  If they’re working too hard they’ll get cranky.

Well, maybe.  Again and again in Proposal Land I’ve seen entire teams bypass the cranky stage altogether and go straight to  giddiness.  Executives passing through think everyone is having  a good time, that everyone is OK.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  Easy enough to miss the slightly desperate nature of the interactions, to not see the underlying exhaustion.  Continue reading“Signs of Overload”