REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Mar 23 , 2017
Author: Keith Stacey

Politician-“bashing” has become all too common. I do not want to add to the volume of criticism, but provide an objective look at some of the processes we have seen adopted by the government to advance their mandate.

Published: Aug 15 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

My wife is a very reasonable woman. Or so she tells me. No, she actually is. We have been married for over 30 years and she has put up with me for a start. To be honest its not just me she is reasonable with. The kids always go to her for emotional support, (me if it’s cash or a lift), I rarely, if ever, see her anything other than calm and she runs a classroom as a primary school teacher with 18 excitable 7 year olds. You have to be big on inner calm.

Published: Jul 01 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

‘So what are you doing about Brexit’ demanded my 90-year-old Mum. ‘Why should I be doing anything about it?’ I asked. ‘Because every other sentence on the news channels since Friday morning has contained the word Negotiation’ she said.

Published: Jun 23 , 2016
Author: David Bannister

I am writing this blog a mere two days after the UK was shocked at the news that a young female member of Parliament was murdered in a street in her constituency where she was born and brought up. Jo Cox was, everyone agrees, a principled and much loved and respected MP who represented a culturally diverse constituency where people of all religions and none are united in the grief and respect they have shown for her.

Published: May 16 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Asking good questions that are tough, direct and specific is one of the key things we can do to improve the quality of our negotiation behaviour and resulting outcomes...

Published: Sep 28 , 2012
Author: Robin Copland

There is more and more emphasis on the bottom line. Negotiators are getting ever more ruthless in their search for a “better deal” and sometimes the old “win-win” mantra is lost in the stampede. One of the tactics we see most often used by – and sometimes against – clients is the late introduction of a procurement specialist to a negotiation. In many cases, this person is introduced rather shamefacedly by the regular negotiator; the excuse is given that they are just there to cast a paternal eye over proceedings and check that the deal is watertight....

Published: Sep 14 , 2012
Author: David Bannister

"Put yourself in my shoes!" said trade union official who was role-playing to help some course participants practise their skills. I was reminded of this when, recently on holiday, I was reading a very enjoyable book called "The Bank of Dave". The book tells the story of a Lancastrian entrepreneur and millionaire called David Fishwick who decided that banks had all got rather too big for their boots and so he chose to open a bank of his own to service deposits and loans in his home town of Burnley (if you haven’t read it, it’s really good!)...

Published: Aug 31 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

Virgin Trains aimed to shake up the railway business when it took over the West Coast mainline. Now, having lost the franchise to FirstGroup, are they tasting sour grapes or being genuine in their belief that FirstGroup are unable to deliver on their pitch?

Published: Aug 24 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

When my kids were much younger we had a standard gag. I would ask them what time is it when an elephant sits on your fence? The answer was clearly time to get a new fence. Timing is indeed everything. A similar question could be asked right now with the World’s biggest sporting event still receiving plaudits from around the Globe (except of course the French), as perhaps the best ever Olympic games...

Published: Aug 10 , 2012
Author: David Bannister

Some years ago, I was teaching a management course in the Far East. My words were to be consecutively interpreted to the class so I had to send all my material for translation in advance. One of the exercises I used was a version of the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’, a game where the participants’ integrity is challenged and where they can be tempted to try to gain advantage over other participants by saying one thing and then doing something else to ‘win’ the game...

Published: Aug 03 , 2012
Author: Sam Macbeth

I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics this week. I have also found the debate that has raged about the number of empty seats to be interesting as well. Disgruntled members of the public had tried and failed on several occasions to buy tickets – only to see that there have been numerous empty seats in the stadia during the first week of the Games. Several commentators have complained that LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) have had “seven years to avoid this situation”.

Published: Jul 27 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

There is no doubt that much of what we learn is from experience. In fact the university of life, with all of its hard knocks, creates valuable lessons. The key is do we adjust our behaviour on the back of what is thrown at us. This week I have been running a couple of training courses in Bangkok. My first trip to the area, and I heartily recommend it. Great food, wonderful weather (at least the rain here is warm) and the people are friendly and generous hosts. For the westerner in this part of the world another attraction is the markets...

Published: Jul 20 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

There is a sweet story about an elderly man who is woken at 3.00am by his wife, who can hear strange noises outside the house. He opens the bedroom curtains and sees robbers stealing some of his stuff from the shed at the bottom of the garden. He calls the emergency line, explains what he can see, and asks for police assistance immediately. ‘Are they actually in your house?’ asks the operator. ‘No’, he says, ‘I’ve told you. They are in the shed at the bottom of the garden’. ‘We don’t have anyone available at the moment,’ says the operator ‘but we will send someone along within 2 hours’. The man puts the phone down, waits thirty seconds, and calls back to the police....

Published: Jul 06 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

I know I am getting on but it used to be that along with the doctor and the local bobby, the bank manager was one of the few people in whom you could put your faith that he would do the right thing. He would sign your passport photos, offer sage words of solid advice about the mortgage and generally be seen to be one of the go-to guys when you really needed it. Not any more...

Latest Blog:

Don't Assume It's All About the Money When Negotiating!

A friend was working in a sales role and was pretty comfortable with his lot in life. He was hitting targets, had a nice house with a manageable mortgage and his kids were going to a good school. Most importantly he had plenty of flexibility with his time so that he could be present at home for his kids. Interestingly though, while none of this changed… the fairy tale slowly eroded around him. His goals shifted, not because of anything inherent to his own intrinsic motivations, but rather because all his boss spoke of was money...

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