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Published: Jul 14 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

You really couldn’t make this up. Prior to the recent Brexit referendum, there was a negotiation between David Cameron, the UK prime minister and Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Luxembourg prime minister and current commissioner of the European Union. Cameron, a very bright man indeed but with limited negotiating experience, went into bat against Juncker, a very bright man indeed but with limited negotiating experience. Their careers had been remarkably similar – early days as parliamentary aides, followed in Cameron’s case with a stint in the commercial world working for Carlton Communications, followed by election to their respective countries’ parliaments. Juncker studied law but had never practised. Neither had much, if any exposure to the cut and thrust of commercial negotiation. I sometimes wish that our politicians had more such experience, but there we are...

Published: Jul 07 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

The hunt for negotiators has begun on a Global scale. Offers of help from all over the place, New Zealand, Australia and no doubt every part of the Commonwealth and beyond to help the UK deal with the inevitable day to day transactional not to mention the framing and strategic negotiations that will result from the Brexit. Surely we are not that light on experience in highly complex, multi- partied negotiations that we have to import them from literally the other side of the world...

Published: Jun 30 , 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. Point taken. Not only Teresa and Michael haggling about who should be the next Prime Minister, Tom Watson colluding with Angela Eagle to avoid being the next Leader of the Opposition, Nicola Sturgeon desperately searching for a negotiating partner in Brussels – anyone will do - but most importantly the UK Government-to-be negotiating the relationship between the UK and Europe with 27 other heads of state, once the exit process has been triggered.

Published: Feb 25 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

We have a problem with my mother. She is a gregarious 90 year old, has successfully lived on her own since my Dad died 10 years ago, she is full of life and bright as a button, lots of friends, goes out to play cards five times a week. Until three weeks ago. Her arthritic knees gave up, and she became virtually immobile. She can hobble around her small apartment with the aid of a 3-wheeled ‘walker’, but the stairs are impossible, and she lives one floor up in a building without an elevator. She has become housebound. So she and the family have some decisions to make. Do we try to find a ground floor flat, which would allow her to go out, at least as far as a taxi which could take her to her friends and the shops? Should we aim for a warden assisted flat, where there would be a speedy rescue service if she fell over. Or should we find a residential care home where she could make new friends and spend the rest of her life (and we hope it will be a long one) being looked after...

Published: Oct 22 , 2015
Author: David Bannister

Daniel Hannan is a British Member of the European Parliament (MEP), an institution for which he seems to have little warmth (as do quite a number of other British MEPs). The UK has announced its intention to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the European Union (EU) and to put the issue to a referendum in the next couple of years. The tactics of all of this are of more than passing interest to a negotiator. So far, our Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made only relatively vague references to what issues will be on the agenda when he negotiates with his fellow leaders, some of whom have wasted no time to tell Cameron what they think will not be on the agenda. Those of us interested in the negotiating tactics might conclude (as I do) that not saying what you want is not a great starting point on the journey to getting what you want...

Published: Jun 25 , 2015
Author: Robin Copland

In or Out – that’s the Negotiation. Now that the Conservative party has been re-elected, the UK will be subject to a referendum, this time about Europe and its continued membership of the European Union. As an aside, those of us who live in Scotland are now becoming a bit jaded with the whole “referendum thing”; they’re a bit like the old Glasgow Corporation 59 bus that I used to know and love – none for forty-odd years, then two in quick succession, but that’s nobody’s fault but ours, so we should not complain. All part of the democratic process, blah-di-blah...

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The Power of Adjournments

Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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