What’s Working for You in Acquisition?


Once a quarter, as part of my continuing self-improvement attempts and part of my personal spiritual development, I assess “what’s working for me.”

It’s simple. I just look over the latest changes in my life that are having positive results, see if I need to modify those new practices, and acknowledge what’s working so I can have more of it in my life. I’ve found that wherever I put my focus gets a lot of juice.

For example, this quarter, I’m still in transition from Federal employee to consultant. I’m trying to sell my house, prep to move to a new city, and dealing with people who are unhappy I’m leaving. That’s been sorta heavy to deal with, so if I look at what’s working that I don’t usually focus on as a tool for dealing with negatives, I can easily settle on a few. As usual, I boil “what’s working for me now” down to about 3-4 main things, this time:

  • Choosing to be around people who lift me up instead of tear me down
  • Choosing to be in a physical location that’s more supportive for me
  • Seeking advice from innovative minds that aren’t emotional about the decision and can see solutions more clearly than I can
  • Being really frank with people who aren’t pulling their weight in my life but also telling supportive people how much I appreciate them.

Just because this is a personal development tool doesn’t mean it can’t also be used professionally, for you or for me. So ask yourself that question about the Acquisition field and what’s working for you this quarter.

I’ll share mine for the summer to give you some ideas:

  • Networking across the Galaxy
    • Before I retired from my Federal contracting career, I thought networking was attending my local NCMA and NDIA meetings. Maybe reaching out to my contractors or other buying offices on my base. In the last few years as the Rapid Acquisition Cell chief, I had people calling me from Air Force bases around the country, several a week, wanting to talk about my Rapid tools, and my network really grew, but nothing like it has over the summer. I’ll credit LinkedIn with making many of those connections and those connections grew exponentially in ever expanding circles. I’ve stepped way outside of my Air Force circles to network with Army, Navy, DARPA, and MDA primarily. I’m learning so much and figuring out what best of the best ideas to emulate as I expand my network.
  • Focusing on people who WANT to innovate
    • The divide between those who want to be disruptors and those fighting to keep the status quo is not unlike the political divide in our country. No matter how convincing the arguments on either side, you’re unlikely to change anyone’s mind on the outer edges. You might, however, change the minds of people in the middle to take a side. I’ve spent the last several years doing everything I could think of to convince people who will never support disrupting what they have spent their lives building. It’s a lost cause in many cases, and I wasted a lot of energy there instead of focusing on people who do want to innovate. This summer, I stopped begging (feeling like it, at least) people who don’t like Rapid Acquistion to follow my lead. Instead, I’ve switched to working with people who want change and are excited about it. I’m not leading anyone by the nostrils any more, and that makes it easy and fun to teach my tools. You know what? There are probably more of these enthusiastic souls out there than the ones who don’t want change, and a bunch more who haven’t made up their minds yet but are considerably more open. So no more beating my head against the wall. I’ll instead focus my energy on creating success stories that will be convincing to those who haven’t made up their minds, and I’ll go forth and do good where I know the seeds will grow.
  • Teaming up with like minds
    • We can team with people who fight us every step, and we’ll never go forward, only in circles. Or we can team with people who think like we do, and we can move Acquisition mountains. I’d rather do the latter. There’s nothing wrong with a curated team to get the right mindset and skillsets to push forward, and finding people who “get” what you’re trying to do with innovative processes can be a giddy pleasure. Yes, giddy. Complete with a Snoopy dance.

So what’s working for you when it comes to Acquistion?


c 2018 Lorna Tedder

Lorna Tedder


  • Rapid Acquisition Consultant
  • Recently retired Contracting Officer, unlimited AFMC warrant 1991-2018
  • Nationally recognized Innovation Thought Leader in Government acquisition
  • Rapid acquisition teacher, both FAR and non-FAR based contracting
  • Master brain-stormer and advisor to program offices across the DoD
  • Expert in developing junior and mid-level personnel to become innovators in Government acquisition
  • 3 decades of first-hand experience and success with Other Transactions, Oral Proposals, 10 USC 2373, Broad Agency Announcements, unique pricing arrangements, Price Based Acquisition, Award Without Discussion, streamlined source selections, multiple award IDIQs, UCAs, waivers, omnibus tool creation, Quick Reaction Capability teams, and strategic sourcing
  • Do you need help? Would you like me to spend a couple of days teaching your Government team how to use innovative contracting methods? Message me on LinkedIn or my contact page.
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