Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Internal unsolicited, part of Writing a Proposal.
- You see the problem and you've only been on the job two months. You wonder why no one has done anything about it. You're certain management will appreciate you're making them aware of the glaring mismanagement. And will quickly implement your situation, so, you develop an unsolicited internal proposal. Wait. Let's rethink writing this unsolicited internal proposal. First, if the problem were that obvious and the solution were simple, chances are management would have already attempted to resolve the situation.
Or management wanted solutions and have already asked someone to resolve it. Before you decide to advance your career with that perfect unsolicited internal proposal, consider the possibility that you could just as easily derail that career. First, if you work with a company a short time, you're the new kid on the block. Maybe you do see unresolved issues that the company has avoided dealing with or really doesn't recognize. But as a new employee, think about waiting until you've established some credibility. Until you understand the entire situation, rather than just how things appear on the surface.
On the other hand, maybe you are a seasoned employee. If so, then look at your recent successes and failures. Maybe you've heard the expression, "the horn and halo effect." You've had a recent success, just nag that new client, then this might be a good time to propose a change. The halo effect. The concept that if a person is judged positively on one aspect, then he's automatically judged positively in other aspects. But if you just lost a major account, the horn effect. That concept by which a person who is judged negatively on one aspect is automatically judged negatively on other aspects, then you might want to wait awhile, until you have a new accomplishment, or halo.
Assuming you have chosen the right time to propose your suggestions, unless you know with 100% certainty that your boss would be delighted with receiving your proposal, then use the indirect approach. Which means 99.9% of the time you should probably begin indirectly. How would your boss react to these openings? Our company has a problem, but have no fear, I have a solution, or our company needs to invest only $50,000 in my idea to solve our space crunch. You will certainly wonder why you haven't thought about my idea to save space.
That boss probably won't have a positive reaction. Chances are the boss is shutting down. The negative word problem, $50,000 when the company is trying to cut cost by no longer providing disposable cups, and the connotation, I'm smarter than you are. Let's try again. This example would probably be received more positively. Chances are you now have your bosses attention. At least he may be curious enough to glance at your actual proposal.
And of course if you do have her attention, that glance must provide all the necessary support. If it does, you may even get a face-to-face discussion. That unsolicited internal proposal may be appreciated, may have the potential to solve or prevent a problem and may even add value to your department or company. Before preparing it, however, think about your credibility, the timing, the receiver's attitude, and the proposed idea's impact on the overall company culture.
If all those answers align, then prepare and submit that unsolicited internal proposal.
- Reading the RFP and asking questions
- Understanding different proposal types
- Following the writing process
- Connecting the dots
- Researching the company
- Using the client's jargon
- Understanding what parts to include
- Following up on a proposal