I’m Jordan Kelly – a “veteran” operative in the arena of formal business-winning submission processes (i.e. “bids”, tenders and proposals) . . . along with the planning and execution of proactive, broader-scale pursuits.

The multi-faceted skill set I have drawn on in my two decades of helping a vast array of household-name B2G and B2B (and smaller) enterprises secure big-ticket, mission-critical projects, contracts and accounts, has been the fruit of a diverse corporate, and entrepreneurial, background.

I’ve been in daily journalism, and have been a trade journal editor, an international industry researcher and competitive intelligence analyst, a public relations consultant, and a marketing manager and brand manager.

Very early career days included my role as a (Government) ministerial press secretary and Governor General speechwriter (at 20, New Zealand’s then-youngest); my time as an industry-specific reporter and photographer, and my role as National Public Relations Manager for Australia’s then-largest wine group.

More novel CV inclusions have been a series of multi-year, mobile and memorable assignments on behalf of two different corporate collectives that saw me stationed in the United Kingdom, the United States, South East Asia and South Africa, analysing the strategies and activities of the fierce global competitors of my clients’ industries.

I’ve also done a stint in the military . . . in officer training in the Army Reserves, at Australia’s Royal College of Duntroon (with an ardent desire to learn the secrets of military intelligence).

My first book (an industry-specific, hardcover text on public relations) was published when I was 24 – and I’ve since written and seen published, more than 20 books (mainly on marketing and bid-related topics). I do not intend the continual increase in that tally to stop any time soon.

One of my specialisations in the bidding arena has been helping multi-national civil infrastructure contractors win non-price-based, consortium-bid, “project alliancing” or “collaborative contracting” projects. (I’ve also formulated and delivered multiple bespoke training, coaching and mentoring programs for client organisations of all sizes.)

In this form of civil infrastructure contracting, client procurement agencies often team with multiple service provider consortia to deliver projects against well-publicised Governmental imperatives.

Winning these (often nationally significant megaprojects) requires not only a detailed understanding of client-side strategies and priorities at the highest level, but also an understanding of the higher-level corporate strategies at play within the various bidder organisations.

It also requires a level of differentiation unlike any other industry, to stand out amidst a competitive field in which almost every player can “do the job” – at least to an acceptable standard of project delivery.

I was, in fact, sponsored by the Australian civil infrastructure contracting sector to produce what is considered a seminal work in this area: the Cracking the VfM Code duo, How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting, and Cracking the VfM Code in Collaborative Contract Bidding: Value for Money … Understanding It & Articulating Your Ability to Deliver It.

On the note of books, I’ve also written – for the benefit of all B2G and B2B sectors – a full portfolio of how-to books on high-value bidding. This includes my flagship, Think & Win Bids: Winning High-Value, High-Stakes Bids through Superior Questioning, Listening and Thinking Skills – a work that is fast becoming required team reading in many organisations.

“. . . We have included your books for distribution to our teams around the world . . . ”
Don Braid, Group Managing Director, Mainfreight Limited, New Zealand

So  . . .  “BID COMMANDOS”   ??

There are two – very distinctly different – ways to approach the whole process of bids, tenders and proposals. . . whether from the educational aspect, or in terms of the planning
and conduct of live pursuits.

One is to treat this learning, and this work, in the dry manner that seems natural to many educators and consultants in this space – agencies that would have their clients believe it’s all so hard and so stressful that it needs to be handed over to external “experts”. The other is to see the far more exciting and challenging perspectives to be found in this very broad field of operation, and to seize the opportunity to soak up in-the-field learning that will – immediately and ongoingly –pay dividends in numerous different arenas.

As we move into this new decade it felt, to me, time to bring BID COMMANDO out of barracks and show him to the world. This imaginary character has been evolving for years in the back of my mind, as I’ve led numerous enterprises to new-business victory – and often in environments in which the odds were stacked tremendously against them.

Modus Operandi
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