The Negotiator Magazine

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Achieving Efficiency AND Effectiveness

In the end, we apply extensive resources to battles over the terms for allocation of blame and failure. We devote yet more resources to fighting over claims or disputes. In most companies, those resources far exceed the heads that are focused on overseeing commitment integrity ('business assurance') or proactively monitoring commitment and relationship performance. The disparity in focus means that many companies create the framework for contract and relationship failure. For them, 'goodness' means having a contract that protects against the consequences, rather than having a negotiation and contract management discipline that raises the probability of success.

Ironically, more companies measure compliance with achieving 'standard' terms (whether or not these are in fact beneficial) than those which monitor whether or not contract objectives were met. It seems a strange disparity - but it certainly explains why we remain stuck with the unchanging grind of today's Top Ten.

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April 2007