The Negotiator Magazine

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Renegotiating for Corporate Innovation

by Mark Freeman

No company can exist without innovation.  Those companies that don’t reinvent themselves or their product will begin to lose market share quickly.  The leadership of the company must get the buy into that innovation from every employee in the company. This is where the renegotiating begins.

Ask any executive of any company that is always looking to create new innovations and they will tell you that it is a company wide effort.  It must be built into the corporate culture.  This means constant changes.  It is this constant changing that creates the opportunity to renegotiate within the company, between departments, with vendors and especially with your customers.

Renegotiating is the art of revising, altering or changing a previously negotiated relationship.  Every new idea, every desire for a new product, every need for a new procedure, and every request for a new innovation creates the change in a previously negotiated relationship that now has to be renegotiated.  This is where our behavior counts most. If the corporate culture supports innovation, then employees won’t be afraid to give their ideas.  They will look forward to giving them and will feel empowered.  In too many companies, employees are afraid to voice their ideas for fear of being ridiculed, because there is no one to go to with a new idea, or they know that their superior will take credit if it is a good idea and blame the employee if it is a bad idea.

Constant change will create an atmosphere of excitement and innovation.  Remember that change has to come and be executed in an organized manner.  Change without organization is called chaos and that is worse then never changing at all.  Here are seven key steps to create and encourage innovation in any company:

    1. Take Control of the Process

If one wants to be in control then you need to understand a major principal of renegotiation, “The Secret of the Orange Ball.”  Someone has to be in control for any change or renegotiation to move forward.  Otherwise, there is chaos and disorganization. The concept of the Orange Ball is to know who is in control. If the process is not going in a direction that you want or need you must then know who is in control of the Orange Ball how to get control of it back.  How else can a renegotiation be monitored for progress?

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May 2007