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December 3, 2008

The Obama Proposal

As President Elect Obama unveiled his national security team one thing struck me above all else. 

Not that there were many rival egos and robust personalities there, nor that he was quickly pulling together a pragmatic coalition style government. 

No. The thing that really caught my attention was how little negative comment there was in the media. Why? Well, it seems that there were no surprises.

The names and their backgrounds had been leaked well in advance of the press conference. His transition team had taken the opportunity to float their candidates, get feedback and work out how best to pitch the new team to the US public. 

And when it finally happened, all the discussion had already taken place. It was less of an announcement than a confirmation of what everyone already knew. 

This is a case study for how to submit a proposal.

Proposals don't represent THE DEAL. They represent the confirmation of the deal. The deal has already been done. Everyone is already well aware of what is coming and how much it is going to cost, and the document itself is merely there for formal authorization. 

No surprises, no negative comments, very little further discussion, and shorter time to authorization.