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July – Signs of Greatness* and the Best Place to Work**

My local newspaper and my monthly Executive Book Summary provided the data for this July Management Info email. I think most of us aspire to work in great places. The Planning Directors and managers reading this email have a responsibility to make it happen.

A partial checklist of 10 items from the two articles:

  1. Everyone Is Having Fun
    I talk to more and more planners, like myself, who are in no hurry to retire. Why? They like what they are doing and are having fun at the workplace.
  2. No One is Pedantic 
    I had to look it up – know it all, fussy, strict. What is needed are open-minded people who want to learn new things.
  3. Empathy Abounds 
    We see each other’s point of view and don’t just try to advance our own career.
  4. Expectations Are Clear and Roles are Clearly Defined 
    Your Northbound Train. (If this is not clear, look it up on our website search engine.) Employees are empowered.
  5. Hard Work Is Rewarded 
    Public pats on the back can go a long way. Money is not the issue. Empowerment is the real motivator.
  6. Mentoring is Important 
    A learning environment with lots of training opportunities.
  7. Success is Overrated 
    Great organizations and teams attempt more solutions and make more mistakes.
  8. Caves and Campfires 
    How do you choose among cubicles, private offices, and open spaces? You don’t. By offering a selection of options companies can support both focus work and collaboration.
  9. Better Than Money 
    Happiness is largely driven by the respect we receive from others.
  10. A Great Leader 
    Managers and Planning Directors – this is your job.

* San Diego Union Tribune, June 25, 2017
** Soundview Executive Book Summaries, December 2016

The Management Doctor

June – That RFP Bugaboo Revisitied

I have just gone through several RFP processes so this topic is once again on my mind. For my prior ideas and great responses from my emailers, click here to go to the search engine on this website and look under RFPs. A few recent issues:

  1. Emails
    Bids should be allowed by email. Recent bids not only didn’t allow for email but wanted every section of the bid with tabs. Doesn’t make much sense for a 20 page bid.
  2. Notarization
    Still being required and a waste of time. Although all bids make it clear that costs in responding to the bid are not covered, in reality someone does pay and these costs are absorbed in the consultant’s overhead.
  3. Price/Budget
    Instead of playing games with the budget, simply get it out front. APA says we shouldn’t be bidding low bid anyway.
  4. Interviews
    Skype works with your kids, why not bid interviews? Also, I recently was allowed only 15 minutes for a bid presentation.
  5. Timing
    Selection one month with work due the following month. May make sense for a few selected contracts but not most.
  6. Confusion
    After going through the entire process on a recent RFP, it became clear that what the RFP requested was not really what was wanted. The RFP obviously picked up words from another unrelated RFP.

But, it’s not all bad. Recently:

  1. Questions
    Was asked to submit answers to questions prior to the interviews – good idea.
  2. No Interview
    We were recently selected for two major RFPs and selected with no interview required.
  3. Sole Source
    Given our reputation, a high percent of our contracts are sole source contracts. A recent city found a creative way to do sole source, even if the budget exceeded that normally allowed. A special section of the city’s purchasing approach allowed a sole source if the bidder had recently been selected under a similar type RFP. Very creative.

Bottom line. Most RFPs are designed to improve something. So, why not improve the RFP process?

The Management Doctor