REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Jan 16 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

I was thinking, as one is tended to do, over the January period, of any goals I could do with having as we waltz into 2017. Eat well, exercise regularly, spend more time on my relationships are my clear life goals. Frankly ones that we all probably share. But from a negotiation perspective, which after all is what I teach and consult in for a living, what three things would help people less focused on this area than I, make a distinct and significant improvement in their negotiation outcomes...

Published: Dec 10 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

People think of negotiating as “that thing you do when you’re buying a car” (you’re probably haggling), or “that time you took a particularly sinuous series of bends at speed without driving over the cliff edge” (you were probably driving). At Scotwork, we are of the view that negotiating is that thing you do when something happens to make the status quo no longer tenable; in other words, external factors disrupt an ongoing relationship to the extent that contracts and relationships need to be re-aligned...

Published: Nov 11 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

I predict a spike in the birth-rate at the beginning of August 2017 because thousands of people, in the US and around the world, were making babies last night. There is much anecdotal evidence that after a trauma people take solace with each other. How many couples will have gone to bed last night whispering to each other ‘WTF (Will Trump Flourish?)’ before rolling over and occupying themselves with other things?

Published: Nov 04 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

Complicated negotiations often involve different meetings, different personnel, different issues and, in the case of the upcoming Brexit negotiations, different countries! The key word in this kind of negotiation is alignment and that involves a number of different factors and considerations. We can learn from the insect world; think bees! Perhaps first and foremost, there needs to be a central “go-to” point where all the information and meeting notes are collated and stored. It is vital to have a central hive of information that teams preparing for a new round of negotiation can reference. The old phrase, “singing off the same hymn sheet” has a certain resonance in this regard. The workers need a point of reference...

Published: Oct 29 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

What do Joni Mitchell and Boris Johnston have in common? Well very little I suspect, but they do both share an interesting way of looking at issues before finally making up their minds. “Both Sides Now” is one of Joni Mitchells most famous songs and appeared on her 1969 Album, Clouds. She says that she has investigated life, love and clouds from both sides, the inspiration being that she was on a transatlantic flight and looked down on the clouds rather than the more customary up. Boris Johnson was quoted in the press this weekend of having a similar way of making up his mind when considering his view of whether to support Britain’s In or Out vote over the now decided Brexit.

Published: Oct 14 , 2016
Author: Rafael Castellanos and Silvio Escudero

A couple of weeks ago we were surprised by the results of the “referendum” in Colombia. Colombians faced this question: “Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and build a long-lasting and stable peace?”. This question referred to the agreement reached by the Colombian Government and FARC (oldest guerrilla group in the country). It was an agreement to put an end to a 52-years conflict that brought to the country thousands of casualties and displaced people, not to mention the impact of this conflict in the social and economic development of the country for decades....

Published: Nov 21 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

At first glance there may not seem much in common between Formula One racing and chartered accountancy. So the news today that KPMG have teamed up with a division of the McLaren racing team is both unexpected and exciting. McLaren will give KPMG access to the methodology they use to process the amounts of ‘big-data’ such as the information they collect as the racing car speeds round the track so that it can be used to help them make predicative decisions such as when to bring a car in for a pit stop. KPMG intend to use this information in a number of ways, most commonly to help them identify (predict) future problems and issues when they are doing audit work, rather than allowing the audit simply to be a backward looking view of a corporate body. Part of the deal is that KPMG will become one of the sponsors of the McLaren team – it is good to see that both parties used their negotiating skills to make a good trade....

Published: Aug 29 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Just as they say that everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard that JFK had been assassinated, the same applies to 9/11. In my case I was in a Dixons electrical shop; I watched the second plane fly into the building on a wall of about 50 TVs which were on display for sale, all showing the identical picture. I commented on the devastating nature of the spectacle to the sales assistant who was completing my purchase. ‘It’s just TV’ he said, not recognising that the event was real. The result of that attack, the War on Terror and the subsequent events in Afghanistan and Iraq, continue to affect our daily lives...

Published: Aug 18 , 2014
Author: John McMillan

On September 18th, Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for 300 years, is holding a referendum on whether to split away from the rest of the UK and become an independent country. Assuming that there is a ‘Yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has a massive negotiating challenge ahead if it is to meet its self-imposed deadline of 24th March 2016; barely 18 months after the votes will be counted...

Published: Aug 01 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

As I write, in Israel and Gaza the conflict continues, and two thousand miles away the aggression between those Ukrainians who want their country to face East, and those who want it to face West also continues. The collateral damage in both cases is tragic; men, women and children who have nothing to do with any political or ideological movement are killed and injured by rockets and tank shells which are aimed indiscriminately at population centres, or which shoot a commercial plane out of the sky...

Published: Sep 29 , 2013
Author: Mark Simpson

So the Americas Cup is finally over and four million plus Kiwi’s are in disbelief and mourning for what could and should have been. Emirates Team New Zealand were 8:1 up. How or earth could Oracle Team USA have staged one of the biggest come backs in sporting history to keep the Americas Cup? Quite easy really and there are some real lessons to be learned for negotiators, managers and their organisations.

Published: Sep 06 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

In the week when the UK Government failed to secure the agreement of Parliament to take military action against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, I read about an interesting phenomenon which might help explain this failure, and which should worry President Obama who remarkably has gone for the same high-risk strategy, in his case asking Congress before taking military action.

Latest Blog:

8 tips to negotiating in a recession (Pt 4)

There is usually more than one solution to every problem. You may have come up with what you think is the best solution, but there is no guarantee that it will be acceptable to the other party. When operating in a challenging economic climate, what you think is reasonable may have a considerably large impact on the other party you are negotiating with, an impact you may not have thought of or are not aware of. Upskill your people, look for opportunity and think beyond the dollars.

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