There’s a post by Seth Godin from 6/16/2011 (HT Bruce Hembd from Horn Matters) where he discusses the perils of negotiation brinkmanship amidst the current period of intense financial distress. Not only is it short and sweet but it sums up much of the root problems from some of the headline dominating labor relations disasters this season. At the same time, it demonstrates how the same approach was actually productive back in the day…
Putting your demands on the table at the last minute is traditionally a successful negotiating strategy. It’s at the last minute that people are focused, that the stakes are higher and that you’re the most likely to extract concessions.
This was very much the case between boards and musicians throughout the 80s and 90s. In some cases it was more of a wink-wink, nod-nod arrangement than anything but by the mid 90s things started getting particularly nasty (not to mention personal) and fortunately, things boiled back a bit but the agenda laden approach came roaring back in 2008.
Godin wraps up his post with a simple suggestion.
Either you negotiate to make the whole bigger, to have both sides benefit–or you negotiate to have the other side lose.
It would be wonderful if things were that straightforward but common sense and vision tend to be the first casualties when it comes to brinkmanship.Read Godin’s entire blog post.