The sales and proposal teams pursuing new business development need to function as what the book ‘As One’ by Mehrad Baghai and James Quigley calls the ‘captain and sports team’ organization model. More so in a services firms where a proposal for a large deal is often an exercise in account analysis high level design of a client solution.
Paraphrasing from this wonderful book, the guidelines of a ‘Captain and Sports Team’ model :
- Though a playbook exists, strategy and direction emerge over time based on interactions in the field of play.
- Members of the sports team have a high shared identity; captain does not manage strongly from top down, rather he/she is a catalyst on the field to interpret and disseminate information and coordinate the team’s activities. There’s minimal hierarchy and sometimes no apparent leader
- Team members join primarily to achieve their personal goals
- Internal communication is that of a team
- Scripted processes and specific rules are followed, strategy emerges gradually, developed largely in response to the environment