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Published: Mar 02 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

Earlier this week with friends in Venice for the end of Carnevale. Thousands of people milling around St Mark’s Square watching the processions. Hundreds of human mannequins dressed up in renaissance costumes, wearing outrageous face masks, and posing for the photographers and the tourists. The hotels and restaurants bursting, the gondoliers fully employed, even at €80 for 30 minutes. There is a real buzz in the city, and the unseasonal warm weather and blue sky was the cherry on the cake. We couldn't stop smiling. Carnevale is an experience which should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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Published: Oct 14 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

What do Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Pot Noodles, Persil, Dove soap and Marmite have in common? They are all made by Unilever. What does Unilever and Tesco have in common? Dave Lewis, Tesco’s current boss, spent most of his career at Unilever before being poached by Tesco. What does all of this have to do with negotiating? Well, having been in a stand-off that threatened to damage both parties, heads were banged together on Thursday 13 October and a deal was done. We at Scotwork have constantly maintained that external factors are the most common cause of the kinds of conflicts that need negotiated solutions and what happened between Tesco and Unilever is a classic example. External factors do not come much bigger than Brexit...

Published: Apr 17 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

I want you to imagine that you have been preparing for a negotiation and you have got to the point were you have to declare your financial proposal to paper. The bit that is going to be critical, maybe even the most important (maybe), is the price. We could drift tangentially off point here and talk about things that may be much more important than price, like availability, quality, terms, etc., etc., we won’t. But you should...

Published: Jul 18 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Whilst I love the sight of a Chinese lantern drifting off aimlessly into a moonlit night on a lovely summers evening, I am not sure I will ever light one again. The apocalyptic blaze caused by one of these burning lanterns landing on the Jayplus recycling unit in Smethwick near Birmingham was captured live on CCTV. The resulting wall of flames could be seen from 80 miles away and the damage cost a reported £6 million. Not to mention the risk to life and limb bourn by the heroic fire service trying to manage the disaster.

Published: Jun 27 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

In a sign of unabated consumer demand at the luxury end of the market $29 million was paid yesterday at auction for a 1982 painting entitled ‘Untitled’ (that must have taken some deep thinking) by Jean-Michel Basquiat (who he?). The estimated price before the auction was $25 million. You can see the painting here: http://bloom.bg/14muexk. I must say that it reminded me of much of the recent oeuvre of Millie, my 3 year old granddaughter, in what the family have come to describe as her Nursery Period. I don’t claim to know much about art, but I can think of better ways to spend $29m...

Published: Jan 10 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

The most frequent request asked of Scotwork consultants is ‘Teach me how to know I have paid the right price’. It comes from a lifetime of self-doubt; that although the negotiated deal looks like a good one, satisfies the need, resolves the conflict, addresses the issues and falls within the levels of affordability, there is a demon nagging at the back of the brain. ‘Sucker!’ says the demon, ‘you could have done much better than that’...

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Bad Behaviour (From The Good Guys)

I’m fascinated by how brands can make us feel. The intensity of that feeling, what drives it and how long it can last. The infamous ones in my experience include IKEA. Nothing makes my blood curdle more than the indignity of being herded around the labyrinth of their Wembley store, before you land in the cattle market of the queuing system. Great for your...

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