Effective interdependency with other team members is an essential component of winning a bid.
From coaching members of numerous teams – Bid, Sales and Leadership teams – I know that working interdependently to achieve high performance is much more easily said than done.
It‘s much easier to stay comfortable huddled around our stovepipes or deep inside our silos than it is to step up and create the culture for the entire bid team to have constructive dialogue, to intertwine and to really support each other. Yet effective interdependency is a vital ingredient needed to create the level of performance necessary to create a winning tender or bid.
So here is my offer of an alternative image – linking together. To me this is something that is hard, connected and durable. It has more strength from being entwined. Of course it can be cut or taken down, but I would argue these are external factors and usually outside of our control.
By inter-twining the strands – be these people, work streams or ideas – you can create strength, structure and daring in your bid.
Here’s how to start:-
- Get courageous. Someone has to go first. No point in waiting for your colleague to suggest the joint planning meeting, or to point out that things aren’t the best they could be. Do it. Book a meeting, or if needs to sound softer, a coffee with them now.
- Accept it’s likely to feel exposing. The first time you do this, it’s likely you will feel uncertain, risky and emotionally vulnerable, or truthfully, all three. After all, aren’t we meant to be smart, effective managers, with a veneer of competence at all times? Whilst it’s true we each know our technical expertise, it is how we bring our expertise together as a team that makes a winning bid.
- Accept it will get better. The second time will probably not feel quite so bad. The first time, once you get over the hurdle, it will, most likely, give an outcome that exceeds both of your expectations. After all, your colleague wants to win too – and once they know this is not about finger pointing, they will most likely be willing, if not wanting, to lean into the initial discomfort to get the gains.
- Move to the easy bit. You can now be in the nuts and bolts of your technical expertise. Agree how the information needs to flow between you, what you need to create together, share and refine. Be open to what formats and timing, how to do updates, give feedback and meet deadlines together. Do this from a position of mutual respect and regard.
I like to win, which makes me a good match with your goal.
Gill How has over twenty years experience of supporting bid, tender, sales, project and leadership teams – helping them be at their best everyday. If you would like an exploratory conversation to see how she can help you meet your goals, contact her here.