Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Negotiations Class

I think this Class deserves some special attention in this blog.
For one thing, it's one that is keeping us really busy in P3. We have to schedule meetings, prepare for cases. I will negotiate on crabs for research on Friday, on an IT company on Monday, and I negotiated on a football star last week.
Then, it's taught by one of the best Prof at INSEAD, Horacio Falcao, who was himself an INSEAD grad in 2002. This guy is one of the few with evaluations above 4.8/5.
Of course it's pointless to reveal the class dynamics and the takeaways from negotiations.
It's worth mentioning though, that in life we so much are conditioned into the Power game, and forget that the whole value creation process is outside of this game. I'm not revealing much when saying that key to negotiation is signalling the right intentions, and being proactive in the process, while not giving away your valuations too early. A difficult balance.
The course is great too to meet new people. I deliberately choose (when possible) counterparts 1. whom I don't know, and 2. who offer a variety of challenges: Indian, Chinese, girl, tough guy.

This course definitely is one of the best. One of my interviewers during the Admissions process, who graduated some years ago, claimed that it has brought him millions. I'm about to test his argument, with my term project "Negotiating the Non-negotiable", for which I chose a real case. I'm going to negotiate on behalf of my sponsor, with a Big Company which has so far (4 years in a row) refused to cave in to pay for the right to sell his products at my sponsor's. That will be a good test to see whether Horacio's method is magical...

On other projects, I'm so blessed with my team mates. In one team, I deliberately chose people very different from me, but with whom I've developed an intuitive understanding. In one other team, I've broken a sacrosanct rule -never to work with close friends- and yet it's so perfect.
In retrospect, this should not make me see my P1 assigned team with a bad eye. Of course, choosing makes the difference; but in electives, the shared interest -call it alignment of incentives, culture, to objectives- is what makes it tick. Indeed, my Core Courses assigned team is full of great people -yet because we still have different objectives (vs. electives), it's not deeply integrated.

I'm done with half a credit. Shaping Consumer Behaviour. Quite mixed feelings about it. I did enjoy it, but that was easy enjoyment (it's always fun to watch TV commercials etc.) and limited takeaways. I must be getting demanding, wanting models, frameworks etc. and being disappointed when given only a collection of case examples. There's one technique Ziv did very well in his class, which he did not mention. It's Hammering, as in repetitiveness... It's as if his collection of examples were explained in reverse order, then fast forward, then at random mode, then in alphabetical order, then in slow motion, stretched during 4 double sessions.

On the social scene, not much. A big trip to HongKong is scheduled this week-end. I think I need some travel...

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