Reader's Review, October 2014
GETTING TO WE:
Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships
This book is the work of three co-authors: Kate Vitasek, Jeanette Nyden, and David Frydlinger. All of the writers are experts on their topic, supply chain management and collaborative deal-making. Moreover, the three authors are to a significant degree the creators and developers of the book's focus on a specific method named Vested.
Kate Vitasek, identified as the "architect" of Vested, is a member of the faculty at the University of Tennessee Center for Executive Education. Ms. Vitasek is the author of over 300 articles on supply chain management and is the author of Vested and Collaborative Contracting.
Jeanette Nyden is an attorney and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in negotiation at the University of Tennessee and at its Center for Executive Education. Ms. Nyden's specialty is in Vested and collaborative contracting. She is the author of Negotiation Rules and a co-author of The Vested Guide to Creating a Successful Business and Outsourcing Agreements.
David Frydlinger is an attorney and heads the Strategic Contracts Group at the Lindahl law firm in Stockholm, Sweden. Mr. Frydlinger is an author of a volume on writing and negotiating commercial contracts and recently completed a Vested Certified Deal Architect in the creation of strategic partnerships from the University of Tennessee.
Getting to We is a product of a much larger endeavor centered at the University of Tennessee and backed by U.S. Air Force research funding which is designed to develop a major new approach to outsourcing negotiation and management. This new direction is based upon a trademarked core methodology named Vested.
In support of its Vested method, the University of Tennessee has created six courses, online and on campus, produced a Vested outsourcing manual, and established a certification program to provide a clear path to recognized and tested skills in Vested deal creation. This book by three of the program's key participants, takes the role of herald to the wider-world of for the values of the Vested approach.
At its root, the Vested method shifts the aims of chain management from the traditional competitive negotiation to individual advantage to a collaborative effort between the parties for common benefit and the building of a long-term relationship. The focus is not the deal in this approach, it is the creation of an innovative and mutually beneficial relationship between the parties.
The definition of the approach's intended relationship between the parties is more like "strategic business partners" than traditional supplier-purchaser entities. It is not only collaborative in its creation, but in its unified approach, shared benefits and obligations, relationship management, and long-term time focus.
The core of Getting to We not only is the method and its benefits, but the how-tos of creating such a negotiated position. It is one thing to share a vision and quite another to achieve it. The authors insist the way to such a relationship is through the acceptance of six shared principles. These core principles are reciprocity, autonomy, honesty, loyalty, equity, and integrity. Why each of these principles is critical to collaborative relationships and how to assure they become and remain central to the common enterprise is the stuff of much of the rest of this work.
The book explores a host of collaborative implementation, development and maintenance issues. You will find sections on such basic topics to the negotiator as strategies, tactics, and negotiating styles appropriate to the collaborative approach as well as suggestions for managing the relationship and resolving disputes between the parties.
This is a book that every negotiator should find of interest and of value. For the person engaged in supply chain management, it is, clearly, required reading.
The book has a careful notes section and a full index.
John D. Baker, Ph.D.
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The Negotiator Magazine October 2014 Copyright © 2014 The Negotiator Magazine