I'm a bit behind in getting through the rest of my IACCM notes, but I thought it would still be worth sharing some of the advice that Danny Ertel of Vantage Partners gave in his keynote address at the Americas event. For those who don't now Vantage Partners, they're a bit of a specialist player in the entire negotiation/sourcing world. Part think-tank, part consulting firm (and at times, part software company), Vantage occupies the intellectual corner of the negotiation space. Danny's talk focused on how companies can drive innovation and partnership success through better contracting. Arguing that "the root of the problem in deal negotiation destruction is what we do at the table," Danny suggested that we, as negotiators, often operate with a dealmaker mindset and strive to simply get contracts signed.
This forces us to use tactics based on past, rear-facing assumptions of what has worked in the past -- avoiding disclosing information when we don't have to, limiting the number of people involved in negotiations, treating the negotiation process and distinct and separate from implementation, "locking-in" suppliers early and often, pushing for the quick close and a general "politeness" that negates constructive information exchange.
To overcome these challenges, Danny suggests a more open negotiation process that focuses not on getting to signature, but rather focusing on the implementation of the deal itself. I'll share some additional notes from his presentation in a post next week.
- Jason Busch