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‘Once upon a Deal…’ - A New Chapter for Scotwork

Horace McDonald

This week represents a milestone in the history of Scotwork UK with the publication of our latest book – ‘Once upon a Deal…’. Any of you who have tried to read a book on negotiation from cover to cover will know that it can be a rather arduous process, as these books are often aimed at trying to ‘teach’ the reader how to negotiate more effectively. As a behavioural skill, we believe that teaching negotiation is best done in the classroom and much like our courses, we have chosen to entertain through story-telling rather than overload you with too much theory.

There are similarities to the last book we published (online) in 2014 ‘The Real Deal’ in that it contains a selection of what I consider to be the best blog stories written since the earlier book’s publication, I have to say that, as I chose the 70 odd stories out of around 350. The differences are that our book is available in physical form (in bookstores and online) as well as digitally (the Kindle version was the No.1 business book on Amazon last week), we have also based the chapters on our 8-Step framework, which underpins what we teach on our course.

The stories cover a wide range of subjects, from major world or UK events, including politics, health crises, economic shocks, the business world, sport and entertainment to personal stories often including family and friends. Writing these stories requires intellectual depth, story-telling prowess and a deep understanding of Scotwork’s negotiation knowledge, it’s a heady mix and I am particularly indebted to Alan Smith and Stephen White who carried the writing burden over a number of years. The team is now broader and supports one another to ensure that a high level of quality is maintained as we aim to entertain and delight our audience and provide some learning along the way.

Whilst we’re on the subject of learning, it is not our intention to use the book to teach the reader how to negotiate. Negotiation is everywhere, we all negotiate and indeed are all 8-Step negotiators. Our courses are designed to develop each participant's capability to negotiate in their commercial roles, however the purpose of the book is to give the reader an understanding of our approach and use story-telling (much like we do in our courses) to provide insight, enlighten and entertain.

How the reader chooses to use the book is entirely up to them. However, my recommendation is that you use it as a reference book. So rather than read from cover to cover, use it as a means of giving yourself a deeper understanding of a particular area of negotiation, starting perhaps where you think you are at your weakest as a negotiator. Each chapter briefly introduces the key principles within each of the 8-Step framework.

It’s been a real pleasure reading all the stories and working with our partners and colleagues to make the book happen and a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed stories and their time. We are having a launch party in London next week, which will be attended by clients, partners, Scotworkers and a few friends where we will toast this new chapter in Scotwork UK’s history. And speaking of history we celebrate our 50th in a little over 2 years, so you can expect to see an updated ‘anniversary’ edition then…

Horace McDonald
More by Horace McDonald:
The Year That Was…
Space Race
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