Ep121: Negotiation Log

25 minutes

When is process valuable, and when is it a distraction from the productivity it is supposed to create? As always, we come at this question from the angle of stories about things like too-small-roasting-pans and piles of dirt. Because the title of this podcast isn’t “So Here’s My Brief and Boring Synopsis of a Business Lesson”.

Why is that important for business? 

While sometimes differing processes can simply be two ways to get to the same place, there are also processes that are productive and some that are “that’s how we’ve always done it” or status quo-maintaining processes. 

Instead of creating structure for everything – from negotiations to meeting agendas – we should instead ask ourselves: “What’s the tiniest hint of structure that I need to prevent chaos, so that we have the freedom to work creatively without going off the rails?” This is very different than the kind of structure that exists simply for the sake of structure (structure that often gets in the way of communicating, and that can create work that isn’t on the path to real value). Structure like this serves an entirely different master than results. 

What you want are systems that allow people to be smart, thoughtful and to use their best brains, not structure that is a reaction to fear. There must be enough insight to talk about the process you are using, what you’re trying to protect, and what you’re losing when you’re trying to protect that. What are the conversations you aren’t allowed to have? 


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