Gain An Edge: Think Outside-of-the-Box

Most people think in a consistent manner, the next step following the last, seldom getting a step out of order.  Thinking out-of-the-box drives a new direction, one not expected, with the unexpected becoming the expected

Something I learned that shaped my career and have found to be a separator of Business Development Directors (BDDs) and those striving to be BDDs, whom I refer to as BD-Wannabes, is the ability to think out-of-the-box.  A metaphor meaning to think differently and from a different perspective, thinking out-of-the-box is not something all BDDs can do.  Most people think in a consistent manner, the next step following the last, seldom getting a step out of order.  Thinking out-of-the-box drives a new direction.  Consider the Fosbury Flop in the high jump sporting event.  While unconventional at the time, Dick Fosbury developed a unique technique significantly surpassing the jumping skills of those performing the traditional Straddle or Scissors Kick, leading him to win the high jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics and forever changing the sport.

Consider what thinking outside-of-the-box can do for you, for what you hope will yield the optimum solution.  You will separate yourself given your approach to the client challenge.  No doubt the reviewing client will likely think you are different from the cast of characters bidding their program and will take a closer look at what you propose.  Isn’t this what you want – to have a differentiated solution?  Now if you and your team take the next steps towards bidding a meaningful solution, you have certainly increased the odds of a successful bid.

Just how do you think outside-of-the-box?  There is no one answer and an internet search will point you in myriad directions.  For sure, avoid the obvious; look beyond what is expected.  A recent commercial banters about the thought of considering “not what technology can do for you, but what you can do WITH technology.”  This may set you up on an entirely new direction.

For me, I go out to my dock, perhaps with a cocktail.  I let my mind wander about the subject matter I want to consider.  Sure, I have ideas but by just letting my mind wander I come up with different ideas, different perspectives.  And that gives me V2.  And I kept it up over a couple of day period.  And I develop V2 and V3 and sure enough each version is better.

Go ahead, try it.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on each skill/attribute of a bonafide Business Development Director provided by Bob Lam. Bob is the principal and founder of Bob Lam Solutions and is affiliated with GovProp.

Preview Bob’s book People Buy From People, Navigating the Federal Highway at his website BobLamSolutions.com or go straight to Amazon.com/books for a copy.

2018-05-08T19:42:24+00:00

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