Proposal Management Lessons Learned Inspired by Game of Thrones

Proposal Management Lessons Learned Inspired by Game of Thrones

Cheryl Smith
03. Feb 2022 | 4 min read

Proposal Management Lessons Learned Inspired by Game of Thrones

Just as Harry Potter sorted us into Gryffindor or Slytherin, Game of Thrones divided us into House Stark or Targaryen. Each clan motto may have informed their strategy, but it’s how they overcame challenges that determined their success. The same is true in the realm of proposals.

The Game

Littlefinger said, “Chaos is a ladder.” By considering chaos as part of his strategy, he ensured his decisions influenced the likelihood of success. Until he was out-gamed by Sansa, who reminded him that chaos has many ladders.

Proposal management is no different; amidst the chaos of writing, reviewing, and revising, there are decisions to make that influence the outcome. Embracing chaos as part of your process helps you remember your goal and how to attain it.

The Iron Throne

Daenarys seemed born to lead, despite her Targaryen lineage. She embraced diversity and picked her battles to become one of the most powerful players in the Seven Kingdoms. But come the final Kings Landing showdown, she ignored her experience and failed in her quest to rule. Jon Snow was born a bastard, destined for Castle Black. But he achieved his goal to protect the North by honoring the wisdom of his experiences.

Neglecting your lessons learned will doom your proposal team to repeat history. Leveraging your experiences as guideposts and guardrails will help you stay on track and achieve your goal.

Ned Stark

King’s Landing is not exactly a culture of collaboration. The power its people wield lies in their ability to access and share information. Ned Stark may have discovered the truth about Gendry and Robert Baratheon, but his ravens couldn’t save his head from Ilyn Payne.   

If your proposal hinges on the presence of experts, you’re investing in time and cost consuming face-to-face meetings, not your goal. Content collaboration software overcomes these issues by leveraging team expertise from anywhere. By empowering team collaboration, you instill a deeper understanding of the tasks, ensure decisions aren’t pulling the team in the wrong direction, and inspire greater commitment to the process.

Dragon Glass

When it came time to stop the Night King at Winterfell, all the swords in Westeros weren’t effective. The job required the right tools; valyrian steel and dragon glass. Corner office for you Samwell Tarly.

If you’re still trying to manage proposals with spreadsheets and emails, this is a Drogon-sized wake-up call. Manual tools are time-consuming, put your deadline at risk, and inflate your labor costs. The right tools, such as automated workflow, slay the risks and raise the bar on efficiency so you have more time to focus on quality, not coordination.

The Battle of Winterfell

What were Jon, Arya, the Hound, and Dondarion doing lurking inside Winterfell before the Army of the Dead breached the fire trench? They were making their way to the godswood. Jon made it clear he didn’t like Bran’s idea and he didn’t exactly trust the Iron Born Theon. But he did trust his sister’s prowess and his wight-capturing companions.

Some may praise one or the other, but both leadership and management are critical assets. Being able to inspire others to join you while effectively coordinating their tasks is a game-changer.

It would be awesome if proposals managed themselves. Unfortunately, as the Maesters of the Citadel will tell you, magic, if it ever existed, is now gone from the world. To successfully manage your proposal through the process for the win, take a page from Game of Thrones.

Your end-game is a winning proposal, but it’s how you play the game that determines your success.

Related: The Ultimate Management Proposal Checklist 

Ultimate Proposal Checklist

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.

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