By: Tracy Almond
In my June 24, 2013 blog Exercising the 5 Tenets of Design I wrote about the 5 Tenets of Design:
- See Participants as People First
- Create Experiences that Activate Positive Emotions
- Make Every Experience Socially Enriching
- Use Participant Insights to Fuel Design
- Design Never Stops
As a Solution Designer, I am responsible for responding to RFPs and writing proposals. As I think about the tenet “Create Experiences that Activate Positive Emotions,” I wonder how I can activate a positive emotion for the client within an RFP response. It seems almost an impossible task!
In a recent blog post on October 11, 2013 Why Design Never Stops – my colleague, Jerry Klein states:
Design thinking begins with a very simple principle. It is people-centric. To design effectively, we need to walk in the shoes of the people for whom we are designing an experience. We need to understand not only their wants and needs, but also their emotions, feelings, aspirations, hopes and dreams.
When responding to an RFP it is important to create an experience for the client, eliciting a positive emotion. In most cases you can figure out the client’s wants and needs. But their emotions, feelings, hope and dreams – how is this possible in a question/answer format? By focusing on Novelty, one of the Design Principles from The Maritz Institute, we can make our responses scream with emotion!
Design Principle #6: Novelty
Novelty is about employing surprise and interest. This principle outlines doing something unexpected, or out of the ordinary. Responding to a question in a different way or sending your response in an eye catching or creative way are examples, but really it’s about creating interest and curiosity. Give the client enough information to question their existing program and curiosity will be the result.
Break out of the predictable pattern.
Sometimes creating a gap in knowledge is as simple as posing a question for people to consider.
It may entail creating tension between today’s reality and a desired vision or future. It’s okay to challenge the status quo when responding to an RFP. It demonstrates creativity and your knowledge of a better solution to address the client’s needs.
Demonstrating novelty and challenging the status quo should lead to the next stage of the RFP process which we all strive for – the presentation. The presentation is the true moment to jolt the client out of autopilot and of course elicit a positive emotion!
I’ve made a commitment to respond to RFPs in way that brings about positive emotion.
How can you create novelty to bring the experience to life?