Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Invisible expertise on proposal teams

A proposal team is going through a debrief after the proposal is submitted. The proposal team manager admits that he really doesn't like to write and wishes the organization had more proposal writers available to support the proposal teams that are essentially made up of scientists and engineers. While the scientists have typically developed writing skills, the engineers haven't.

A member of the team present at the debrief timidly raises her hand to declare that while she's typically uncomfortable contributing in group settings, she's very comfortable with writing and she would have loved to play a greater part in writing the proposal. Her official role on the team only required her to write a half page. She could have contributed much more but she was never asked and she never realized her writing skills would have been appreciated.

On the same team, a scientist who knew nothing about the budget side of the proposal was successfully pulled in to help write the narrative related to the budget. Sometimes you've got to look beyond a team members' assigned role and look for hidden expertise.

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