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Published: May 05 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

Just about a year ago, as voting in the UK General Election came to an end, an exit poll predicted that the Conservative Party would win a 10 seat majority. This was so out of whack with the estimates made by all the opinion poll experts that Paddy Ashdown, a well-known and well respected Liberal Democrat politician promised on TV that if the exit poll prediction was right he would literally eat his hat. The prediction turned out to be correct...

Published: Apr 23 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

We are in political season, so I make no apology for another observation on the political landscape, from which the negotiator can learn so much. All three stories involve the SNP. Story 1. As the tension and torture of last year’s Scottish independence referendum fade away, the resurgent SNP wants to go again – perhaps as early as next year...

Published: Sep 19 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

You’ve got to feel a bit sorry for Ed Miliband. Not only does he have the physiognomy of a character from Wallace and Gromit, a brother who probably won’t speak to him, he now also has to deal with how the Labour party is funded and supported by the Unions under the watchful gaze of the whole country....

Published: Jul 11 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

As early as May this year, Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary and UK cabinet minister, warned that “a cabal at the top of the Labour national executive was trying to exert influence”, and that the Labour leader, Ed Miliband “was storing up danger for himself and for a future Labour government over parliamentary selections”. The row had blown up because Unite, the largest trade union in the UK, and in a move reminiscent of the Militant Tendency’s tactics in the 1970s and 80s, had quietly been infiltrating local labour constituency parties with their members by paying their membership fees en bloc. The union had specifically targeted seats where a selection was coming up...

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Liar Liar Pants On Fire

“The trouble, Richard”, a prospective client once said to me, “is that I can get a better service elsewhere for less money” …the salesman’s worst nightmare! But I was desperate; I’d been trying to get this research proposal over the line for weeks and we really needed the revenue. I was ready to compromise and do (what I thought) was necessary. But that compromise (or unconditional concession as we professional negotiators like to call it) didn’t just cost me the arbitrary 15% discount to get the job. It set a precedent for subsequent jobs that overtime amounted to thousands of pounds.

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