Discussing strategy development with a team recently, I found that two course participants had both recently peer-reviewed the same proposal, a couple of days before the event.An easy demonstration of powerful strategies came to mind. I asked one of the pair to leave the room for a few moments, and asked the other to use the flipchart to list the key messages that he could remember from the proposal. We then brought his colleague back in and asked the same question.
Not surprisingly, their lists differed somewhat – each of the readers having come up with differing lists of half-a-dozen or more themes. It wasn’t a huge leap to imagine the evaluation team having been left with similarly muddled messages as to the reasons why they should have selected this supplier. And as an illustration of the need for a proposal to focus clearly on three or four key messages, and to present these in a memorable way, the exercise couldn’t have been more powerful.