I was asked yesterday to write an expression of interest for a client who's going for some major works with a client of their own. The brief boiled down to three bullet points:
• your experience in serving our residential and commercial markets
• your company’s business principles or code of conduct
• your financial track record and projected growth
The first part seemed easy, as they've worked with this client for some nine years now and it seemed a matter of listing projects both completed and ongoing.
Then I realised that's what every other company sending in their own statement would do, so I chose five representative samples- projects around the city, one with commercial premises involved, two multi-occupancy properties, a family home, a foreign embassy. I then wrote a little about each project, including whether they'd finished on time and to budget, whether there had been any resident issues on the site and what had been done to resolve them, and what awards each site had won, if any.
The client has a strong belief in doing good business, in working with strong values and a definite vision and purpose. I was part of the team that defined those values and I drive theit strategy in environmental, corporate and social responsibility. I've been introduced to their clients as 'the conscience' of their business, which was one of those moments you want to frame and hang on the wall.
Give all that, the second section almost wrote itself.
The third section was harder- I sought information from their Financial Director, the fantastic Andy of Azure who helpfully sent me exactly what I needed so I could drop it straight into the piece.
It wasn't until I'd checked it over and sent it to their MD for him to review that it hit me: in doing this, I was being asked to play a major commercial role in their business.
Me. The HR person. An outside agent, being charged with summarising their company so they can pitch for £8m of business.
If I could have high fived myself, I'd have done it and not cared who was looking.
We're told HR has to be relevant and commercial, supporting the overall business aims. So many of us try to do just that on a daily basis. It's really nice when you realise you've succeeded.
A chat with Katharine Duff earlier had us both celebrating breaking beyond the traditional role we fulfill. She has been asked to write a client's blog for them, testament to her ability beyond HR, and we found we were referring to ourselves as 'talent unchained.'
Joking aside, I do feel something's been released here that's uncovered a whole new facet to the Treacletiger/ client relationship.
I may let it run free for a while.