REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Sep 29 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the dentist. I can state with pretty much certainty and I admit comfort, that he knows something about teeth. Partly because the last time I went to see him with a damaged filling I left with it fixed, which frankly it would be difficult for someone without any knowledge of teeth to have resolved. Unless of course he had been very lucky that day and managed to wing it.

Published: Aug 25 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Team GB flew in to Heathrow on Tuesday morning this week, clanking with their scores of medals, on flight number BA2016, a British Airways 747 repainted with a golden nose and renamed “victoRIOus”. The best Olympic results for these Glorious Isles in over a century.

Published: Mar 24 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

Why did President Putin suddenly and unexpectedly announce last week that Russia was pulling its armed forces out of Syria? It was an announcement that took every political commentator by surprise, and subsequently there were as many theories to explain the situation as there were commentators.

Published: Mar 17 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Well there are actually! Negotiation involves cold logic, cutting through all the verbiage, careful and clear analysis of the volatile and unpredictable environment before coolly selecting the correct option.

Published: Oct 16 , 2015
Author: Tom Feinson

Tesco’s travails over the last few months are many and varied. Recently they topped a grocers code adjudicator list for supplier complaints and in a recent survey only Iceland received a lower score from its suppliers, it must be cold there.

Published: Aug 14 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

Last Wednesday evening was a bad time for two different groups of Londoners. At five o’clock the doors of several walk-in centres run by a high profile children’s charity called Kid’s Company closed for the last time, and thousands of children who depended on the charity for both physical and educational support were stranded. There had been suspicions about the financial affairs of this charity for some time – allegations that it was not well managed and that it was not in control of its finances. Central government was a major contributor and when the media picked up stories of financial irregularities they and other generous donors began to think twice about their funding. The final nail in the coffin came when allegations of sexual abuse of children on Kids Company premises were made; the privately donated money dried up completely, and because the charity had virtually no reserves it had to close. It is unlikely to re-open, at least in its present form.

Published: Jul 02 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

It used to be that people had so much time on their hands that they were forever looking for things to do to fill it. When I talk about wrestling with an octopus I am talking literally, not making an oblique negotiating reference about dealing with slippery salesmen or procurement slight of (many) hands...

Published: Dec 01 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

It is a very simple equation to look at how margin is impacted by the price a company charges for its products. Take a very easy example of a company whose P&L sheet looks like this;

Published: Nov 06 , 2014
Author: Mike Freedman

Frequently people want to talk about their negotiating strategy. My immediate (if private) reaction to this is “oh dear!!” Negotiation is a means of dealing with conflict; it can be stressful. So, in preparation we tend to surround ourselves with all sorts of tools and defenses that will make us feel more powerful or at least more comfortable. For example people like to play out their negotiation strategy before it happens. Their strategy involves a long storyboard, a sequence of exactly what they and the other side will say and do.

Published: Sep 29 , 2014
Author: Gaetan Pellerin

We’ve all been trained to hide our emotions in a business environment—especially during negotiation. Keep your emotions out of negotiations or the other side may crush you, right? Not exactly, because you can’t negotiate effectively as a detached robot. So how do you find the happy medium?

Published: May 30 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Until yesterday I thought that the bid by US pharma giant Pfizer for UK based pharma giant AstraZeneca was a flash-in-the-pan piece of opportunism. We first heard of the plan at the beginning of May, when an offer of £50 per share was tabled. The merger would create the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. It was based on two premises, firstly that AstraZeneca were weak because their product portfolio contained a number of high-profit drugs which were coming to the end of their patent protection, and with nothing much in the R&D cupboard to replace them, and secondly because it gave Pfizer an advantage by enabling them to move their head office to the UK and save loads of tax in an avoidance wheeze...

Published: Apr 17 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

I want you to imagine that you have been preparing for a negotiation and you have got to the point where you have to declare your financial proposal to paper. The bit that is going to be critical, maybe even the most important (maybe), is the price...

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DUPed

Two’s company; 27’s a crowd. It may be tricky negotiating with a single party, but when there are 27 divergent interests on the other side of the table it becomes even harder. That is just part of the challenge that the UK Government has in their Brexit…

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