Earlier this year I switched jobs from software testing (and project coordination) at one of my companies clients to an entirely new field (bidmanagement) within the company itself. I went from being an external asset to swinging it as an internal manager. Quite the chance AND quite the change, let me tell you.
Now – I’m not going to bore you any further with the details of my career. What I AM going to (well hopefully not actually) bore you with is one of the courses I’ve been taking to boost my skills. A course on Best Value Procurement. Or, as I’ve been calling it (because of examples used) – Mount Everesting training.
Don’t panic. I’m not going to try and teach you the wisdom that is put on the table in this course so that you can try and apply it in a totally unrelated job (that would be silly). Instead – I’m going to tell you how I’m finding that the things I’m learning FOR WORK – sound like they would be awesome to apply to (can you guess already) my personal life! DUNDUNDUN (wait. Is that even sillier?)!
So. Best Value Procurement. Aka – how does one get the best service (provider) for their money when they’re trying to select someone to come do a job for them. Because – as it turns out – that’s not as straightforward as just selecting the person who will come do it cheapest.
Say you’re climbing Mount Everest and you’re looking for a Sherpa (that’s not a type of goat, I Googled it) to guide you up there. Because you ACTUALLY wanna get up that mountain, without ever having climbed one before. Now. You can take several approaches to get up that mountain:
You gather up a group of sherpas – tell them exactly what you’re going to be doing (because you Googled ‘climbing mount everest’), how you want it done, what materials they’ll be using (because you found this webshop that totally told you the best things to get) and what the timelines that they’re supposed to be doing it in are (because you read that one book by the dude who already dun it). Then you have them tell you their price for doing exactly that and select the cheapest one that says they can do the deed.
Think you’re going to get the best sherpa that way?
Yet, strangely, it IS how most companies approach procurement (and thus, how they get crappy cheap labor but lame results).
You gather the same group of sherpas and let THEM tell YOU how they would climb that mountain. Let them explain to you their process. Their techniques. The materials they can bring to the table and what they’d be expecting from you, plus whether they can do it within the budget you set for yourself. Sit down with each and every one of them and gawk at their expertise. Then you pick the most experienced sherpa that can do it within your budget while bringing the most knowledge, materials and assets to the table. Even if there’s cheaper options out there. Because you’ll have the best one and maybe a chance of actually making it up and down that mountain alive. Huzzah!
Can you see where I’m going with this?
I bet you can – because I do this thing in pretty much everything I write!
We do the same fucking thing when selecting our partners in the dating game, do we not?
(At least, I do, because I’m an organizational terror like that, but I’m gonna keep saying ‘we’ anyway)
We come bearing checklists, and must-haves and preferred qualities and just check-check-check our matches away on whatever mystical points we feel a relationship should contain. Only to end up with a great big pool of men who might sort of fit the bill (more or less), and selecting the one that looks best on paper. Without even knowing if our list works. Or holds true. Or contains everything we need it to contain. It’s completely bonkers, when you think of it.
We objectify the other side. Reduce them to a pros and cons calculation without any solid basis for judgment. Add up the numbers and see which one comes up with the best score for the least effort. And then go for that one.
While we COULD be approaching this from that entirely different angle. From the BVP strategy side of things. Let that potential love interest show us their worth, explore the options they bring to the table. Find out what they have to offer that you might never have considered before and allow yourself to be surprised. Operate on evidence, instead of planning. Even if they might not be up to your original listy standards on all fronts.
But that’s scary, innit. When you start something that might potentially not fit AT ALL in hopes of finding that perfect fit that you never knew existed.
Still. I’m going to venture bravely into this, because (lets face it) the previous (scenario 1) approach hasn’t really yielded the wanted results. So it’s gonna be a change in swiping behavior. Match not just the pretty boys who tweak a string on aesthetics, but also the ones who instantly make me think ‘I could have a good conversation with that dude’. Change it up a little. Try it with scenario 2. I could throw in the over-used, super-cliché and management-milked quote regarding only idiots doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes. But I ain’t like that. Although, I guess, I still did.