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NIFH06V Business Case Studies and Essay Questions

NIFH06V

Case Study

Mavji Patel owns a tailoring business in St Lucia in the Caribbean. His main product line is in mail-order of made-to-measure jackets and trousers. These had been his father’s most recent activity before he handed over his business to Mavji on retirement; his father’s original trade was the general repair of men’s clothes, which still accounted for a declining percentage of Patel Suits’ total profit, with most of the rest in mail-order suits. Mavji had taken the business to the current mix of products, marketed under his father’s slogan, “Patel Suits You.” Recently, Mavji had designed a new lightweight suit (‘Patel Specials’) which doubled as formal wear for business or smart casual, and this was currently growing towards twenty per cent of total profit.

The Internet had created new marketing opportunities, and Mavji found that customers from other parts of the Caribbean were measuring themselves for ‘Patel Suits’ (Internet business divided approximately 50–50 between made-to-measure and ‘Patel Specials’). He had invested money and time into his Patel website, acquired a secure credit card facility and took on an extra employee to process the orders and ship them. If Internet demand continued to grow, he would need additional help in the cutting and stitching room; perhaps also new machinery to open another production line.

A month ago, Patel Suits received a visit from Wilson Maraj, the owner of Maraj Men’s Clothes in Jamaica and a talented salesman, who had bought a few of the ‘Patel Specials’ and had been impressed with his customers’ responses, some of whom also bought other made-to-measure items. He told Mavji Patel that he believed he could sell all the ‘Patel Suits’ he could import into Jamaica (more if they were manufactured locally) and that he wanted to set up a deal from which they would both make ‘mighty profits.’

Wilson said there were several issues to agree upon before they could go into some business relationship. These included, he said: a) pricing; b) Jamaican Internet sales; c) an exclusive distributorship in Jamaica; d) licensed manufacturing in Jamaica.

Patel pondered his options before responding to Maraj’s proposition. He wanted to expand his business but also wanted to retain control of his branded products. He saw the ‘Patel Specials’ as the first of several designs he had in mind, and he thought there was a lot of room for growth in developing the mail-order made-to-measure business. Growing through local distributors, such as Wilson Maraj (who had passed an initial scrutiny of his business and personal affairs), could become a model for the future of Patel Suits in the Caribbean; hence, Mavji Patel was not keen on granting him exclusivity or a licence to manufacture locally until, at least, he had proved himself; also Mavji Patel had more knowledge of the prospects for his suits in the Caribbean. On the other hand, depending on the pricing issue, he could use the profits from Jamaica to fund his direct expansion elsewhere via the Internet.

Required:

  • How would you assess the interests of Mavji Patel for these negotiations?
  • How might you set out in a Planner the interests, issues and positions of Wilson Maraj for the negotiations?
  • Why might it be better for Mavji and Wilson to link rather than separate the negotiable issues in their bargaining behaviour?
  • Why are Internet sales to customers in Jamaica a negotiable issue?
  • What degree (if any) of exclusive distribution rights in Jamaica for Wilson Maraj might Mavji Patel agree to?

Essay 1

This is a 60-page contract’, said Abdullah, Vice-President of Delphi Computing, ‘and we must go through it issue by issue, quickly disposing of those that are non-contentious and then taking the remainder as they come. Leaving them unsettled will cause massive confusion, so I suggest we seek agreement on as many as possible, which, as usual, will probably settle everything except the price. That way we will finish the negotiations before Thursday, and we can go home.

Why might you advise a negotiator to link issues when proposing or bargaining in preference to separating them?

Essay 2

Look, George, I do not care what you say or which option you choose to do. Either reimburse me $200 000, or I will see you in court’, shouted Eleanor Weston, Vice-President Contracts. She had called the meeting with George Preston, from Castle Communications and it had been stormy because all their intra-company telecommunications had gone down for 12 hours when the main frame crashed and the two back-up systems also failed. Weston claimed her ‘best and final bid’ had been lost in transit to a client and she had missed the bid deadline, and she wanted immediate compensation for the wasted costs of preparing her bid (the $200 000) and intended to consult lawyers to suing Castle Communications for her not getting the contract too.

How might you attempt to deal with a difficult negotiator when you wish to conclude a deal and she appears not to care too much whether she takes you to court or not?

Essay 3

‘Mahamad voted for the Omega Project at this morning’s meeting,’ reported Ahmed to Dan O’Reilly, CEO of Phoenix (Middle East), ‘and his contribution to the debate was very positive.’ Dan and the others were surprised because Mahamad had consistently opposed or undermined every one of Dan’s initiatives for the past year or so. ‘That shows how badly he wants to be appointed a director of the Dubai project. I think we should squeeze him for more concessions before we decide who to appoint,’ said Hadji, adding, with a grin, ‘and then appoint somebody else, for all the trouble he has caused us.’ ‘Maybe not,’ said Dan. ‘We should proceed to push Mahamad’s nomination and let him know that we do not bear grudges. We always repay good deeds, quickly.’

In what way might the reciprocation principle support lessons in strategy from games derived from Prisoner’s Dilemma?

Essay 4

Edwina sat thinking, long and hard about how to bring Wolfgang into play on her side. She knew Wolfgang, but not well, as he did not say much at the monthly management meetings of the consortium and she had not dealt with him outside these meetings. He ran the facilities side of the joint venture which tended to tick away without problems. So far there had been no hold-ups in the schedule and, therefore, no reasons for Wolfgang to need support from Edwina nor scope for ‘quid-pro-quo’ side-deals. She wondered how ambitious he was for a higher profile in the consortium or was he looking for promotion within his own parent company? Where did he see himself being in three or so years? ‘Everybody wants something,’ she mused, ‘but what did Wolfgang want and was it feasible to support him getting it?’

In what manner might an Influence Grid help Edwina begin to draw Wolfgang into her influence campaign where his support would be helpful?

Case Solution

  1. How would you assess the interests of Mavji Patel for these negotiations?  (8 marks)

Interests are the fears, hopes, and concerns that motivate the negotiator to engage in the negotiation of issues and positions. The intention is that the negotiated outcome delivers or meets their interests to some acceptable extent.

Mavji Patel’s interests are influenced by the fact that his clothing business is on the verge of a growth phase. Should he decide that he wishes to grow his business (which is not automatically certain), he has several options, two of which are to grow organically or to grow by forming some business relationship with partners like Wilson Maraj. A third option is to grow through a combination of organic growth and local partnerships.

Both options involve risks which are in his interest to minimize. His main interest in the business is to make a profit on his investment sufficient to cover his costs, fund new investment in production, marketing and distribution and set aside for contingencies and opportunities.

With a new product (the ‘Patel Specials’) and new routes to market (the Internet and new locations across the Caribbean), Mavji has an interest in keeping tight control over his products (who distributes or handles them; who sells them; who is associated with them locally in distant markets) and for this reason he is nervous about distant manufacturing, despite its cost advantages (savings on shipping, insurance, customs duties) but with risks in quality and revenue.

[Candidates may select other interests, and their marks will depend on the credibility of their exposition.]

  1. How might you set out in a Planner the interests, issues, and positions of Wilson Maraj for the negotiations?  (8 marks)

Interests are ‘why’ we prefer this solution to a negotiating problem compared to other solutions. Issues are items for the negotiation agenda (how we intend to deliver our interests), and positions are points within the range (negotiators think in ranges, not fixed positions) of feasible values between our Entry (where we open) and our Exit (where we close) points.

The Negotek® PREP Planner is a useful Pro-forma for preparing for negotiation because it sets out in an easily readable fashion the key data that will be used when you meet the other party. By assigning priorities (H: high; M: medium and L: low) to the issues, the negotiator can see at a glance where most flexibility for trading lies.

Range
Issue Priority Entry Exit
Pricing H List –40% List
Internet sales M 100% Credited to Maraj sales (net of shipping) 20 per cent to Maraj
Exclusivity H Total Phased until Sales meet targets
Local manufacturing L Licensed, all products Licensed for some products

 

[NB: The candidate’s specifications of the Ranges on the Planner are less important for marks than evidence of understanding the format.]

Negotiable issues and ranges (positions):

  • Pricing: discounted from the ‘List Price’, needed if non-exclusive; list price (two different marketing campaigns implied);
  • Jamaican Internet sales – bound to be a problem because Maraj’s

Marketing contributes to customer awareness; Internet finds customers independently claim Mavji;

  • Total exclusivity unlikely at start;
  • License for manufacturing or fitting in Jamaica.

[Or some such description of possible ranges and compromises.]

  1. Why might it be better for Mavji and Wilson to link rather than separate the negotiable issues in their bargaining behaviour? (8 marks)

There are some issues possible in this negotiation and separating them for a negotiated decision on their individual merits abandons, unnecessarily, useful opportunities for trading. It also turns each negotiation issue into a zero-sum bargain: what Marvji gains Maraj loses. Such negotiations are characterized by higher tensions and greater fragility than negotiations that follow linking behaviors and are more likely to deadlock.

Not all negotiable issues are valued the same (their priorities differ), and there may be room for greater flexibility in the negotiation range on some negotiable issues compared to others, providing they can be traded for issues of greater value or higher priority.

We negotiate because we value things differently and linking issues in trades take advantage of this characteristic. If we can exchange things of lower priority or value for things of higher priority or value to us, we can ‘compensate’ for movement in the issues.

Negotiation is the management of movement and linking enables the movement to take place to mutual benefit because the parties receive in their trades higher net value items than they give up. If this is true for both

Parties, the resultant traded agreement is closer to being optimal for both parties (and closer to the Nash solution).

  1. Why are Internet sales to customers in Jamaica a negotiable issue? (8 marks)

Internet sales would become negotiable in the situation faced by the parties in Jamaica because of the uncertainty of which party created the sale. Was it Maraj’s marketing in Jamaica that prompted the customer to order a suit on the Internet? Did the potential customers read an advert, or see one on TV, or hear it on Radio, attend a sponsored event, all paid for by Maraj Might Men’s Clothes to promote Patel Suits? Did they hear about Patel Suits by word of mouth from someone who received some form of advertising from Maraj? Who knows? How do we prove it? All Mavji knows is that a Jamaican customer ordered a suit on the Internet site.

The interests of Maraj and Mavji are different on this issue. Maraj prefers to receive credit for Internet sales from Jamaica because his marketing campaign causes some customer interest in purchasing a Patel suit. How they exercise their decision to purchase is less important, in his view than the sequence of events that led them to Patel Suits. Mavji prefers to receive all revenue from Internet sales because he created the website, facilitates customer purchases, and supplies product direct to customers without Maraj had to do anything.

If unresolved it will cause problems. Maraj will compete against Mavji (itself not a good idea) by pressing for higher discounts for products he ships in and sells directly to customers. If he can sell below Mavi’s direct sale price (plus shipping), can offer on the spot repairs and service, and act closer to his customers, he can deter Jamaican buyers from dealing impersonally with Mavji in far away from St Lucia. If there is no difference in price and this hurts Jamaican direct sales from Maraj, there may not be as successful a venture as both expected.

By cooperating, Maraj and Mavji can mutually gain. This requires movement from both of them. Full credit for Internet sales would be a disincentive for Mavji, but some recognition of the seamless marketing activity is possible. How much is negotiable? It may be administratively more efficient for Maraj to place his orders through the Internet to Mavji, enabling consolidation of order for lower cost shipping from St Lucia to Jamaica, and for Maraj to take responsibility for all customers who order through the Internet and those who order from Maraj. People prefer local ‘service’ for clothes, adding some comfort to them as purchasers.

[Looking for some evidence of solving the problem with a negotiated solution]

  1. What degree (if any) of exclusive distribution rights in Jamaica for Wilson Maraj might Mavji Patel agree? (8 marks)

The degree of exclusivity according to a local distributor by a Licensor is often a major issue in these kinds of negotiations. The distributor prefers complete exclusivity, i.e., to be the sole distributor for a defined territory, such as a country, so that all expenditures on marketing the product.

Become beneficial to the distributor and not to any rivals. Licensors prefer not to grant exclusive rights if they can avoid them so that they can appoint more than one distributor to force them to compete for sales, believing that a sole distributor may not work as hard to sell the product if they have a monopoly, or may take on more than one distributorship for competing products from other licensors and not thereby give their full attention to the Licensor’s products.

These differences in approach are not absolute, and the degree to which exclusivity may apply is negotiable. For example, Mavji may insist that in exchange for awarding exclusivity that Maraj Mighty Men’s Clothes distribute only Patel Suits in Jamaica. This may be feasible, and the facts of the actual circumstances of suit sales in Jamaica would decide on how feasible was such a trade-off and how strongly Patel believes his suits could be differentiated from other suits in the market. It is along these negotiating lines that the optimal degree of exclusivity would be decided, running from total exclusivity for Maraj, accompanied by the total exclusion of other brands of suits, through to no exclusivity awarded to either party.

There is a possibility that Mavji Patel might consider a limited form of exclusivity, at least for the early years of the relationship. Patel produces many products: the made-to-measure range of suits; the ‘Patel Specials’; and the repair of clothes (his father’s original business). Maraj, primarily, was a salesman and not a manufacturer, and until reliable manufacturer was located in Jamaica, he did not see Maraj managing such a venture. As a seller of Patel Suits, Maraj showed promise and Mavji could encourage him with a limited exclusivity, either in general made-to-measure items or tailor-made ‘Patel Specials,’ and reserve complete exclusivity until he was satisfied he had chosen the right partner.

Essay 1

Why might you advise a negotiator to link issues when proposing or bargaining in preference to separating them?

Essentially, negotiation is about the exchange of proposals. In fact, you could say that nothing happens in negotiation until somebody proposes because we can only negotiate proposals. Proposals and bargains tend to take a relatively small part of the face-to-face contact between the parties (about 20 per cent).

In addition to advice to make proposals in the conditional format (If-Then), it is important that negotiators think in terms of both ranges between their entry and exit points and in linking issues together to form linked trades. The alternative is to separate issues and negotiate each one in turn. It is in contrast between linking and separating that the advice to link is based.

Take the single-issue negotiation. This can arise when there is only one issue on the table, either because there are only issues to start with or because the elimination of all the other issues leaves one left to be determined. A seller may negotiate with a buyer the price of something – a vase or an empty house – that cannot be sub-divided. Accepting that there is a range of the Entry and Exit prices of the buyers and the sellers, we have the classic distributive bargain.

Figure 2.1

Untitled

A movement of the seller towards the buyer’s price is a zero-sum transaction; what the seller loses the Buyer gains. All such movements cause ‘psychic pain’ to the party that moves towards the other because ‘Losses’ are keenly felt. Hence negotiators tend to resist movement when they can. Assuming there is an overlap in the Exit points of the parties we have a settlement range.

Figure 2.4

The existence of a settlement range does not ameliorate the psychic pain, though its existence is better than its absence (i.e., a ‘Gap’). It enables an agreement to be reached somewhere within the settlement range. However, what causes movement from the negotiator’s Entry price towards the Exit price may have little intrinsic merit. It could be any of many reasons to do with time, other pressures, fatigue, anxiety to get a deal, wishing to please someone, acting from fear, and so on.

A problem with single issue distributive bargaining carries over from these considerations. Taking several issues separately in the same deal it could be (and often is) the case that movements agreed towards the other party’s entry price are made independent of the requirements for movement on the other issues and, in retrospect, where more movement is required on the single issue being negotiated later it may be that the negotiator has ‘run out’ of room for further movement even though such room was available on the earlier issues but is now ‘used up’. In short, earlier movements or ‘concessions’ were ‘wasted’ that would be very useful on the later issues.

This problem could be averted by linking all issues as required to negotiate movement within the affordable budget for movement. In this approach, the concept of negotiable tradable is introduced. A tradable is anything that the parties have discretion over and which one of the parties values more than the other. In effect, the tradable introduces a sub-issue, which is linked to the main issue. If several tradable are introduced, there are several sub-issues or associated issues in negotiation and not just a single issue. The trade-off is not just movement along a single dimension, but movement among the several tradable. The more tradable (or just one) adds greater flexibility for movement. It reduces the psychic pain of ‘giving in’ by associating movement on issue 1 with compensatory movement on an issue (or tradable) 2.

Examples of the use of tradable (multiple-issues) attract marks (Land and Peace in the Israel-Egypt negotiations, and so on).

Negotiators in preparation should compose lists of tradable in their business that are suitable to be used to extract compensatory movements across the issues. They should also adopt the negotiation stance of not confining themselves to settlement on single issues. They can use the stance of ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ and that any agreement on a single issue is only provisional and that it is open to further negotiation in association with other issues should the need arise.

Thinking regarding linked package deals across multiple issues is productive of greater flexibility and avoids bitter fights for movement on a single issue basis. The settlement on this basis more closely corresponds to the specific needs of the parties because some of the sub-issues or trades may be of low value to the negotiator agreeing to them in exchange for movement on an issue or issues with which he or she values highly. A movement on price may be tolerable if there is movement on when the increased price is due to be paid. Such a linked trade may suit both parties for entirely different reasons.

Essay 2

How might you attempt to deal with a difficult negotiator when you wish to conclude a deal, and she appears not to care too much whether she takes you to court or not?

Some negotiators are ‘difficult’ to negotiate with. Their difficult behavior may be caused by several influences on them. It could be they believe they have reason to be ‘difficult’ (your organization or you let them down badly once too often). It may also be the case that they have found that acting difficult gets them concessions or better deals and they have perfected the art of appearing to be difficult. Hence, care is needed in attributing causes to a negotiator’s difficult behavior.

If you have reason to believe that your organization has let someone down badly, you had better tackle those reasons on their merits. Putting right wrongs you have created is a good place to start. Arguing about them is less helpful, though this does not mean that you have to concur with the grounds for every complaint, serious or trivial. That is the meaning of judging each case on its merits. If some action of your organization has caused stress to the other party, an apology for causing the stress is the minimum you should do.

In the scenario, the possibility of being taken to court suggests that there is some degree of failure to meet a contractual performance. No details are given but assume for the essay that there is some substance in the claim but that you want to negotiate a settlement in preference to the expense of a trial of the case. The problem is that the other party appears to be indifferent to a deal or a trial. Her indifference may be part of the ‘act,’ it may be genuine, and the threat is real. Again, you are in judgment on the merits of the case.

You must separate the other party’s attitudes and behavior from the prospective outcome. People are entitled to express themselves in the manner they wish. If you let their behavior, no matter how negative, influence the outcome, then you are vulnerable to their behavior deciding the outcome. The link between their behavior and the outcome should be cut. Likewise, their behavior should not determine your behavior. Being professional on all occasions is the goal of the negotiator.

Listening to their complaints and its consequences for them is essential. Asking questions, not arguing about facts, and empathizing with their mood as they recount the problem are positive reactions. Attacking, blaming, even doubting, behaviors are not good ideas when trying to move someone from a detrimental intention towards a settlement by negotiation. They provoke negative responses: attack and they defend; blame, and they justify; and doubt and they show determined certainty in their case.

The other main element of your response is to move the solution towards a negotiated trade in support of the movement caused by the merits of their case. How much this would cost you depends on the gravity of what happened. If ‘total’ blame attaches to your organization it will probably cost you a great deal (still cheaper than a court order to do so); if neglect on both sides contributed to the problem some sharing of the costs of a remedy can be negotiated. If you are truly ‘blameless,’ it may be wise to offer some contribution for ‘goodwill’ (if you wish to retain the account). They may come to see the futility of resort to the law if you handle their rehearsal of the problem sensitively. Otherwise, you may provoke an expensive ‘nuisance’ claim that has little chance of pleasing either party.

Essay 3

In what way might the reciprocation principle support lessons in strategy from games derived from Prisoner’s Dilemma?

In the scenario, Mahamad and Dan have experienced a run of negative relations. Mahamad surprisingly switched to support something Dan was sponsoring. The issue is what does Dan do next? This is a case for a Tit-for-Tat strategy.

Reciprocation is basic human behavior. While altruism is also known and widely practiced, much of what passes for altruism is, in fact, various forms of reciprocation. The principle of reciprocation is sometimes misunderstood. It is objected that Mrs. A did a favor of some kind to Mrs. B without any previous intention or expectation whatsoever that Mrs. B would reciprocate; the favor, it is asserted vigorously, was purely motivated by a desire to help Mrs. B in her moment of difficulty. That belief, and assertion, from Mrs. A, is perfectly acceptable and its truth in no way contradicts the principle of reciprocation.

Reciprocation comes into play when, at a later date, a Mrs. B, say, is in a position to reciprocate a proportionate favor to Mrs. A. If she does not do so, the principle of reciprocation has been breached. The question is now how Mrs. A feels about this. It could be she is unmoved by Mrs. B’s breach; fair enough and perfectly acceptable. Her act was pure altruism. But experience and observation suggest that most people put into a similar situation to Mrs. A’s after a breach of reciprocation would resent Mrs. B’s breach. The principle then is formed in the breach and is not dependent on prior intentions.

In influence behavior, reciprocation is an important exchange. Unlike bargaining, which is explicit and usually simultaneous, reciprocation is implicit and sequential. A breach of the bargaining exchange – a party, not delivering that which it promised in the conditional proposition (‘If you do this for me, then I will do that for you’) – is a breach of an explicitly stated promise and, under the law of contracts, it is enforceable with all the attendant consequences of a breach of contract. A breach in the reciprocal exchange – party, not delivering that which is implicit in open-ended exchange (‘One good turn deserves another’) is a breach of an implicit, vague, unenforceable expectation to reciprocate in some similar manner at some vague time in the future. No third parties are involved (the law for example); the breach is often private to the parties, not remarked upon (though it may be to friends) and for which there is no redress.

There are real consequences for breaches of the reciprocations principle in influence situations. Just as ‘one good turn deserves another,’ a breach of reciprocation interrupts the mutual exchange of good turns and, in extreme circumstances, can mean a conscious intention to do the other serious ‘bad turns,’ as and when possible. From an influencing point of view, such a reaction could be disastrous. Where opportunities exist to do damage to your interests, you can be sure that resentful people will act against you.

Prisoner’s dilemma (PD) games refer to the strategic choices that people are faced with in certain types of situation where they have a choice of doing what is best for themselves or doing what is best for both parties. Acting for themselves alone they may make considerable gains, but what is true for one party is potentially true for the other. If both attempt to do what is best for themselves, they could end up with an outcome that is significantly worse for them both. This has been shown in PD games; parties make choices that make them both worse off, though they intended to make themselves better off at the others expense. The outcome from the choice that makes them both better off is certain, though not as attractive as the outcome that would make one of them better off, provided the other player chose to make both better off. The defection choice leaves the naïve, trusting party stranded with the worst possible outcome.

[Overly-long expositions of PD are not needed, and candidates should not score well for presenting long such accounts in their answers.]

Axelrod derived interesting results from a computer tournament in which various strategies were played to select the better strategy out of the universe of possible strategies. The winning strategy was Tit-for-Tat. This had three rules: always open with a strategy that aimed to do what is best for both parties (in PD, the Blue play; known as be ‘nice’); then always play next what the other party played in the previous round (be ‘ruthless’ but predictable – if they play ‘red’, you play ‘red’); if they switch from ‘red’ play to ‘blue’ play, always instantly ‘forgive’ previous ‘red’ play and play ‘blue’ in reciprocation, no matter how long they had played ‘red’ and you had played ‘red’, or you played ‘blue,’ and they played ‘blue’ in reciprocation.

The differences between Hadj’s suggested strategy and Dan’s center on the ‘retaliation’ strategy of Hadji and Dan’s TFT strategy. Hadji continues to bear a grudge against Mahamad for his previous ‘red’ play; Dan prefers to instantly switch from ‘red’ to ‘blue’ if Mahamad switches to Blue (instant forgiveness). By doing so, Mahamad should notice Dan’s switch to blue because it instantly follows the switch from the ‘red’ play which Mahamad instigated and Dan followed (his public support for Mahamad’s nomination as Director of the Dubai project). Where the reward is close to the event that promotes it, the chances of the party learning of the Connection is very high. Any steps that delay the connection reduce the chances of connection action with the reward (which is why Hadj’s reaction is rejected by Dan). The Tit-for-Tat strategy reinforces the Reciprocation Principle.

Essay 4

Edwina is starting almost from scratch with Wolfgang and needs to approach her influence task carefully. The Influence Grid is one way to do this. It is an extension of the Key Players Grid because it adds detail to a key player’s name and their relationship with you.

Exhibit 7.8 The key players’ grid

Untitled1

[Candidates should explain, either here or throughout their answer the main headings of the diagram]

At present, Wolfgang is a Potential Ally (PA), and his name is entered under the Identify column and marker ‘PA.’ The little knowledge of Wolfgang that she has must be analyzed as best she can. Anything that occurs to her would be recorded in the column marked ‘Analyse.’ She knows his facilities function shows no signs of problems or of not working smoothly. If it had such problems, they would soon emerge in a meeting of the several parties forming a ‘consortium.’ None are reported, and she can assume Wolfgang is competent.

From the information in the scenario, Edwina knows very little about Wolfgang and has not got much to go on about his views of the world and his place in it. She has to resolve the problem of the absence of information about him – she can ask others who know him better; engage him in conversation, informally and formally on official business. Here, she has an opportunity for some GOYA and GOTT (even some GOTEM – ‘get on the e-mail’) by thinking creatively of reasons to contact him. Her activities in this area are purpose driven – she needs to know what sort of manager Wolfgang is and what makes him tick. Is he ambitious, is he looking for the ‘quiet life’, or does he want to do and achieve more; what does he think of their colleagues in the consortium, is he critical of aspects of their work or other individuals, what sorts of things, people, events annoy him, how cynical, if at all, is he about his work, colleagues, bosses, and customers, is he disappointed with his career progress, and what does he want to do about his role, position and prospects, and so on? Care is a need in this work because some people do not include relative strangers, like Edwina, within their world and they might resent her trying to enter it. If this in the case, Edwina will have to work round it (and perhaps Wolfgang).

Whatever turns up from her analysis, she should assess what resources she might have or can access, that are relevant to Wolfgang’s world. These resources may be work-related or in some other area (Edwina knows, say, the Principal of the college that Wolfgang’s son is attending, or she knows a good supplier of swimming pools, etc.,). How she manages the transfer of such resources to Wolfgang without embarrassing or compromising him in some way also requires sensitive treatment. Where the resources are solely work-related there would be established protocols and procedures covering them and these should always be followed.

Most organizations, even the most rigid of bureaucracies, have scope for the informal transactions of influence – doing ‘good turns,’ avoiding ‘bad’ turns; reciprocation, and the currencies of influence. Edwina should deploy the resources she selects from them in a determined manner. She is still looking for ways in which to draw Wolfgang into supporting her influence campaign (the scenario does not disclose exactly what her campaign is about).

It may be some time before Edwina can fill in much in the Diagnosis column. Here she is evaluating her relationship with Wolfgang – is he an ally or is he still only a potential ally, or is he merely a distant functionary with whom she has no relationship at all? Or has Wolfgang moved on from being a potential ally to an ally? In the diagnosis, Edwina must be honest with herself. There is no point in her being self-deceived. Worse, there is no point misreading the relationship to assume it is stronger than it is, especially if the diagnosis of the relationship is used to convince others that she has stronger support than she has. Third party incidents could reveal that Edwina has misled her allies and this could undermine her actual support. Outright denials by others that they agree with Edwina’s proposals could be embarrassing to those who act by what Edwina told them. They may not forgive her and may revise her reputation for candor.

If assumed allies have not been contacted by Edwina recently, their views may have changed or their ardour for a change been dampened by events, other views they have heard or simply the fact that they were never really that keen on Edwina’s proposals from the start (but did not have the heart, to be frank with her). A consensus withers from neglect. Other agendas intrude on their thinking and priorities change. So she had better keep in regular contact with her allies and potential allies.

In the case of Wolfgang, she has much work to do for the first parts of the Key Players Grid, and from what she finds out she has to commence working on her information to bring him into play by selecting the appropriate means of her approach. She may have to adjust her plans in the light of what she learns about his interests, aspirations, and preferences. Hence, the Selection column is a direct prelude to the Implementation column.

How quickly Wolfgang may be brought into the ‘team’ and directly participate in the influence campaign requires much more detail than available in the short scenario. That is why the emphasis in the answer would tend to concentrate on the first four columns of the six columns Key Players Grid.

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