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Are you negotiating the right things?

July 6, 2015

Although the business environment is undergoing rapid change, the focus of term and condition negotiations seems to remain relatively constant. Is that because contracts offer a point of stability in an unstable world, or is it because those who lead negotiations are failing to adapt?

IACCM’s annual study of ‘most negotiated terms’ never fails to offer fascinating insights. Over the years, it has shown the effect of new regulation, of economic recession, of geopolitical insecurity, of shifts in technologies and business offerings. Yet it has also confirmed an underlying tendency for negotiators to focus on issues of risk consequence – and in so doing, to undermine the value that contracts can deliver.

Does this tendency suggest that most of today’s contract negotiators are pessimists, or that they see their role as protecting the business against the over-optimism or lack of precision within sales or business unit management? Certainly such an attitude has validity, but it also fails to tackle the real problems (or opportunities) that come from creative and collaborative contracting.

With today’s steady increase in executive interest and focus on contracting, are we seeing a shift in the timing and purpose of negotiations? Is this affecting the terms we negotiate? IACCM will value your opinion and experience – and also share with you the results of their global survey. You can participate by visiting

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