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Collaboration is linked to efficiency

February 14, 2012
Collaboration matters most when times are tough. After all, it is easy to collaborate when things are going well. The real test of partnership occurs when there are issues and obstacles, sources for possible blame or disagreement.
Since those sources of problems are actually quite predictable (in terms of likely source, if not volume and timing) it is surprising that mature businesses and seasoned negotiators do so little to prepare for them. How often have you discussed a list of the common causes of dispute or failure in contracts, either internally with the negotiation or implementation team, or externally with a customer or supplier? And if your answer – like most people – is ‘never’, then what is stopping you?
If our goal is truly better risk management, then why are we not exploring and discussing the sources of risk and attempting to either anticipate or eliminate them? Collaboration is also closely connected with a commitment to efficiency, a belief that we do not want to spend our time repetitively dealing with the same issues, or extinguishing the same fires.
And that brings me to a linked concern – over how much we actually question the efficiency and effectiveness of the resources at our disposal. Recent IACCM work on contract management headcount suggests that we may have some tough questions to ask on this topic. But I will expand on that subject tomorrow and share some of the relevant benchmark data.

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