TCO vs. TSS: They Serve Different Functions

Recently, a newer employee working in supply chain at a public utility asked me the following: “What is the difference between a Total Cost of Ownership and Total Supplier Spend? We need to cut costs next year and there is a line in the supplier’s scorecard for TCO but I don’t know what it means.” […]

How to Bring Counterpart Redlines to the Law Dept. for Review

Recently I received this email from a coaching client, who is a contract administrator on the buy-side. His concerns and my advice are applicable to sales-side contracting too. How do I intelligently bring the contractor’s exceptions (to our master agreement) to the Law Dept. for review? I have this impression that the Law Dept. wants […]

Getting to We: All About Trust, Transparency and Compatibility

Getting to We is a book about negotiating. It is not, however, a typical negotiation book when compared to the hundreds of other negotiation books. It is a book that opens the way to developing a new mindset and process for negotiating business relationships where it’s the success of the relationship that matters most. And […]

Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships

It’s time for a new approach and mindset for contract negotiations, time to leave the old me-first, I-win-you-lose strategy far behind, replaced by highly collaborative partnerships. What if the agreement you negotiated was more than just a short-term, legalese-burdened piece of paper specifying a bunch of transactions, terms and conditions, self-interested risk avoidance provisions and […]

The Millennial Leaders Are Coming! Dread or Delight?

I’m not sure how many people are aware that our working world is about to experience a major shift. In the U.S. by 2025, 75% of the workforce will come from the Millennial generation. (The U.S. Department of Labor defines the Millennial generation as those born between 1980 and 1998). Delight For me personally, I […]

Opportunism: the other side of trust (Part 2)

Social Norms To Do Business By Reciprocity obligates businesspeople to make fair and balanced exchanges. If one company accepts a business risk, the other must be prepared to do the same. If one company commits to invest time and money in an important project, the other must be prepared to reciprocate. They decide what is […]

The Five Steps of Getting to We

Getting to We is a new approach and mindset for agreement negotiations that leaves the typical I-win-you-lose strategy in the dust, because that way simply no longer works for the long term. And it never worked very well for the short term, either. But if you buy into The Getting to We premise—that highly collaborative […]

Opportunism: the other side of trust (Part 1)

We often hear stories of business relationships that appeared strong suddenly turning sour. These relationships may even have existed for some time. So what is going on? It is likely acts of opportunism. Here’s an example. A client of mine awarded a multimillion-dollar, multi-year deal to the lowest bidder. The bid was characterised as “too […]

Getting the Deal by Getting to We

When we talk about the doing the deal, the point is to get the deal done, right? To get to yes in the most advantageous way possible for your company—the deal that best serves your specific interest, at the lowest possible cost. And then you move on to the next deal, right? Wrong! That mindset […]

Are You Checking for Understanding? Or am I?

A couple of years ago my clients started asking me, “Do you follow up with my people after training to check for their understanding of our Terms & Conditions or do I?” Today, (not in years past) I say we both should. My efforts alone are not enough. In training sessions, I see people nod […]