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It’s Warm and Dry Under the Umbrella

We’ve been enduring the seeming torture of watching Congress negotiate outcomes on some difficult issues. While the negotiations were ongoing, and “frameworks” were redefined within the course of an afternoon, spending decisions affecting trillions of dollars in future outlays were changed on the fulcrum of two determined centrists. The needle moved orders of magnitude as a $3+ trillion-package was reduced below $2 trillion. Remember $1 trillion is 1000 billion. 1 billion is 1000 million. Lots of money was plugged and played. The numbers seem fake they are so abstract. We lost sight of what the programs were until it became more clear people had no idea what was being considered and only that nothing was happening.

During these protracted Congressional negotiations, President Biden participated in both the G-20 and the COP26. During each of those major summits with world leaders, equally big ideas were debated. Should we commit $500 million? Should we vote for a .5-degree Fahrenheit change as a climate improvement goal? Is global vaccine distribution helping or hurting the global battle against COVID?

Did you call a few audibles on the field during COVID? Have you stepped back to document the changes, or assess the long-term implications of the short-term changes you made? Click To Tweet

The scale of these major issues can overwhelm. When we are overwhelmed, we sometimes stand still and merely admire the problem. The issues are surely important; however, your company is not likely to have a direct impact on their outcomes. You can surely participate in the debate, and you will live with the decisions, but you won’t individually move the biggest decisions.

Umbrella Issues

I look at these most major issues as umbrella issues. Climate, the economy, and inflation are issues that overarch the federal operating environment. They are big, and they set conditions in which we must operate our businesses. But think of the area below the umbrella as the warm and dry space in which you can maneuver safely.

Below these umbrella issues are the day-to-day functions of government. Other policy and funding bills are still being debated in Congress. Executive branch agencies are implementing existing policies and carrying out acquisition and contracting functions. Liaison and exchange of information among industries, agencies, and Congress take place daily.

The various decision makers in your customer constellation, the influencers, enablers, and actual deciders are performing their roles in the functions of government. Decisions are being made, funds obligated, and contracts let – every day. Some things have changed though.

As we come out of COVID, the strategy on which you might have based some decisions is likely not serving you well. If you even have a strategy, it’s likely that your assumptions have been completely upended. If you have a strategy, who in your organization knows about it? Did you call a few audibles on the field during COVID? Have you stepped back to document the changes, or assess the long-term implications of the short-term changes you made?

If you just went from thinking the big problems are big, but I can still perform with my government customer, and then moved to, “Oh dang, I’m winging it,” I can help you.

During the pandemic, I became certified in delivery of Sentient Strategy® – a completely new way to discard the SWOT methods born in the 1950s and focus on the actual things that drive revenue and profit. If you’d like help with redefining how you will safely maneuver under the umbrella, while simultaneously and doggedly improving profitability while serving the government customer, I can help.

If you are interested in joining a group of professionals who share your goal of success in the federal space in The Big Top, reach out to me by email with the subject line: “The Big Top.” An invitation-only, online forum, The Big Top is where topical federal issues, useful federal engagement tips, and proven better practices can help fuel your understanding and success working toward improved federal sales.

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