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Published: Aug 24 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

No figures have been revealed as yet to how much Daniel Craig will get for reprising his James Bond role, which he again claims will be his last time, but I’ve got a feeling he may not need to head for the basics aisle in his local supermarket any time soon. Bond 25, which will be released in October 2019 under what I hope will be a much catchier title, is the 25th Bond (Dhooh), and Craig’s 5th.

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Published: Aug 17 , 2017
Author: Robin Copland

Something interesting happened at the Athletics World Championships last week. Well, actually and to be fair, lots of interesting things happened. Mo Farah kept up his astonishing record by winning the Gold Medal in the 10000 metres. Sadly for him, he had to make do with a Silver in the 5000 metres race. Time finally caught up with Usain Bolt as he could only manage a Bronze Medal in the 100 metres and injury in the 4 x 100 metres relay during his last race. Justin Gatlin, who has been banned not once, but twice for using performance-enhancing drugs, won the 100 metre Gold Medal. 30 athletes and support staff fell victim to a suspected outbreak of norovirus...

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Published: Jul 27 , 2017
Author: Robin Copland

It’s amazing how many people go into negotiations with no clear idea about their bottom line. “We’ll see how it goes,” seems to be the rather naïve thought and of course they leave themselves open to the risk of a really poor and unprofitable deal at the end of it. It is empowering to know your bottom line, especially when you have internal agreement at senior level. Think about it: the other side are aggressively demanding that you improve your terms, but you know that what they are asking for is beyond your bottom line.

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Published: Apr 06 , 2017
Author: Robin Copland

I suspect that the Brexit negotiations will provide a fruitful source of negotiating stories over the next two or three years (longer – much longer, if you believe some commentators), so I apologise in advance to our many overseas readers. It is instructive and, dare I say, amusing to watch people • Who really do not know what a negotiation actually is • Who have no experience of sitting in a room with a hard-nosed negotiator on the other side of the table and what it feels like make unguarded comments that sound good in a sound bite.

Published: Oct 10 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Before working with a powerful FMCG company in Europe I asked of the thousands of points of sale they have how many client relationships they lose every year to competing companies. The company proudly announced that last year they lost less than 1% annually to competition. I dared to suggest that 1% is probably not enough and that they need to lose more business. This did not deter them from working with us and here’s why...

Published: Sep 28 , 2012
Author: Robin Copland

There is more and more emphasis on the bottom line. Negotiators are getting ever more ruthless in their search for a “better deal” and sometimes the old “win-win” mantra is lost in the stampede. One of the tactics we see most often used by – and sometimes against – clients is the late introduction of a procurement specialist to a negotiation. In many cases, this person is introduced rather shamefacedly by the regular negotiator; the excuse is given that they are just there to cast a paternal eye over proceedings and check that the deal is watertight....

Published: Jun 01 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

My 93 year old mum-in-law came to live with us recently, and this meant that we needed to install a stair lift to get her to and from her bedroom on the upper floor of our home. It is now installed and working, much to her satisfaction. Doing the deal gave me food for thought. I did my research online – it looked like we were going to be in for about £2000 given the specification and size of the staircase. We selected three companies to come and quote; one which advertises nationally and is a household name, one selected from the internet, and one recommended by our local mobility store...

Published: Apr 06 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

The recently released movie Margin Call tells the story of a seminal moment in the general financial collapse of 2008. A fictional investment bank, probably a thinly disguised Lehman Brothers, discovers that its huge holdings of subprime mortgage bonds are worthless. If they are liquidated, even at virtually any price, the damage caused to the bank’s reputation by doing so will be irreparable. If the bank do nothing they will be bankrupt in days. The Board of the bank convene, in the dead of night, to decide a course of action for the following trading day...

Published: Mar 02 , 2012
Author: Robin Copland

A recurring theme when you read about Ryanair’s negotiations – be they with aircraft manufacturers or airport operators – are the words “breakdown of negotiations”. The confrontational style that the airline seems to employ should not necessarily be knocked. It continues to buck the trend and return excellent operating results, but, as it is discovering, its negotiating partners seem less keen than hitherto to bow down and accept the tough proposals that the airline puts forward...

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Student Life

I have just been the dutiful Dad and delivered the youngest one, Grace, back to Bristol with her boyfriend – both graduating students of the university there. They have decided to both stay on for a year (coincidence? I think not) and so it is the annual task of moving into a new flat (facilitated by yours truly) that this story is about.

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