Monday, March 12, 2012

Organist for hire at Association of Proposal Management Professionals events

I do not directly link to Facebook comments (there are probably still a few hundred million Facebook users who assume their conversations are private), but I will reproduce something from one of my comments.

In something I posted on Thursday evening, I said:

Tonight (Thursday) I didn't get home until after 8:00 pm because of a proposal.

One of my co-workers (who obviously knows what I do for a living) then said:

A proposal? Did she say yes? Oh, not that kind of proposal....

To which I replied:

Although we still hope that the recipient of the proposal will say "yes." :)

There certainly are some things in common between marriage proposals and business proposals. Alex Lickerman has discussed this:

Marriage is like a business but not all businesses are created equal. A marriage is more like a Partnership than an LLC, a partnership whose purpose is the management of a shared life. Partnerships are formed as a result of two companies merging. Mergers are always performed to improve the profitability of the two companies involved. Profitability is defined as net gain. Good partnerships result from a careful choosing of partners that have a shared vision for a company, complementary skills, and similar long-term goals. How each partnership defines these parameters will vary depending on the type of partnership in question and in general defines your partnership’s business plan....

However, my business proposals usually don't involve corporate mergers. Are there parallels between the types of proposals that I write and the proposals that Larry King has delivered several times? Let's look at something Michael M. Thomas said:

She's a woman. You're not. You'd probably be ok with something like a business proposal. Something like "Honey, I love you, you love me. Let's make this permanent. Please accept this ring as a symbol of my sincerity." While she would probably say yes, that's probably not what she wants.

Not only is that a crappy marriage proposal...that's also a crappy business proposal. How would one of my account managers or program managers react if I wrote a proposal letter like this:

March 12, 2012

Public County Sheriff's Office
Anywhere, USA

Attn: Ms. Natalie Procurement

Dear Ms. Procurement:

We love providing an automated fingerprint identification system to you.

You love using our automated fingerprint identification system.

Let's continue the relationship by having you buy a new system from us.

Please accept this latent workstation as a token of our sincerity.

I suspect that if I submitted such a proposal letter for approval, the next proposal I write would be a "Please hire me at your company because I'm unemployed" proposal.

In truth, both business proposals and marriage proposals have to offer mutual benefits to both parties in order to be successful.

For example, let's take look at the woman who married a man because the man owned a rocking chair. Similarly, that man wanted to marry the woman because she had a purse in which the man could throw things. Over twenty years later the man has long since gotten rid of the rocking chair - and the woman has been through many purses - but the two are still married.

(At least as long as the man doesn't do a bonehead move that endangers his job.)
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