Start Thinking Like a CEO

Buy this book from the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management.

I know. It's pricey.

But take a look at the table of contents and introduction linked above. This is the advice we've all been waiting for.

I'll be blogging on it as soon as I'm back from vacation. Yes, they DO let bloggers vacation . . . wait a minute . . . 

Here's an excerpt. As you can see, they're singing our song - authentic, relationship-based, non-adversarial, value-added, mutual benefit negotiation.

contracting must become a core business competence to assist in understanding, evaluating and overcoming the complexity and challenges of today’s global markets.

This position is reflected in the work of a growing number of academics who show particular interest in the connection between contract management and relationship management. . . 

To achieve that end, it seeks to be inclusive of a wide range of viewpoints and to encourage balancing of interests and needs, in a way that is appropriate to the extent and duration of the contract that is being formed. It encourages openness and honesty, but of course we cannot prevent our readers from using the information in whatever way they deem appropriate.

In general, we suggest that adversarial or confrontational relationships do not tend to work; but as with all things, this is not always true. Suppliers in particular may choose to stick with domineering customers and learn how to leverage their relationship. But we see limits in how much such a relationship will achieve.

This philosophy leads us in general to warn against unbalanced or inappropriate allocations of risk. It also encourages the parties to question transactional, as opposed to relational, behaviors, recognizing that all choices carry a cost.

A good example of this readiness to question is contained in an article by British economist John Kay, entitled ‘It’s time to rip up your unwritten contracts’. In it, Kay suggests that the shift from performance based on long-term relationships to performance based on transactional contracts has reduced input prices, but damaged longer-term profitability.

We seek to explain and bring those costs to the surface, in ways that will assist good business judgment and support sustained business success.

In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Harvard professor Steven Pinker suggests that among the four primary reasons for the decline of global violence (yes it has declined, think WWI and WWII) is trade.

Check this book out along with Pinker's. It's on the "optimistic news" reading list.