Inspired by Roman Krznaric's book "Empathy", I took a deep dive into the subject at last year's APMP conference. And now I've whisked up an article to support the session. It's the first in a planned series of three. This one is essentially a book review. I trot through the history the Six Habits of Empathic People leaving you with a brain teaser on each to get you into the groove.
The next article will map the six habits to the world of selling and the last one will consider them in the context of proposals.
Krznaric's book is perfectly digestible and is packed with some wonderful characters who took their engagement with empathy to the extreme.
On 21st February, I completed my foundation certificate in Storytelling during a fascinating day at the Berkeley Storytelling Academy.
We told our own tales to discover the component parts of a story - although we had a list of 20, it came down to a plot (a problem to solve), characters (with whom we can identify) and a purpose (that the audience relates to).
We learnt to use the Pixar storytelling template - as in Pixar, the film gang that made Toy Story, Finding Nemo and A Bug's Life. Using their simple formula, shown in the picture and one of 22 storytelling rules, you can build a story about anything. We practised on ourselves as a final exercise to translate the theory into the commercial world. My re-write of my Linked In profile is work in progress, so watch that space.
I came away working out how to translate all this into proposals - much of it points back to the principles in my Ethos, Pathos, Logos article, but I will fine-tune this thinking in a future article.
If you haven't found this really useful tool yet, consider yourself formally introduced to the Government Digital Service style guide. It's an alphabetically arranged, online reference for style, spelling and grammar conventions for all content published on GOV.UK.
Covering a host of topics, it clears up some common dilemmas including capitalisation, hyphenation and abbreviation. Although designed for online content, there are many hints and tips that can be carried through to proposals. And for when something is missing, it helpfully refers you out to style guides from The Guardian or The Economist.
The UK government aspires to procure 33% of its goods and services from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Sounds good, but it can be daunting for those new to public sector bidding, who do not understand procurement rules and fear the red tape.
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