Sunday, February 18, 2007

Review of Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury lays out a new framework for negotiating. They claim that the process is usually performed positionally, and argue that it is more effect to go through a principled process.

Positional negotiating includes:
  • Defining a position an sticking to it (the budget for scenery is 10,000),
  • Often involves "games" (if I tell the designer the budget is 7500....)
  • Is a win lose situation.

Principled negotiation attempts to:
  • Separate the people from the problem
  • Focus on interested not positions
  • Invent Options where both groups gain (expand the pie of resources)
  • Using object criteria that both parties agree on.

I think this book is valuable for Technical Directors and other in a theatrical setting.
  • First, our main interest is a collective product (the show).
  • We often need to negotiate- over budgets, over time, labor and other scarce resources.
  • People are important to the process so we don;t want to alienate them through the process.
  • There are often ways to create alternative resources (stock, labor from other areas, cheaper alternatives, and so forth) so expanding the pie is often very useful.
  • Relationships can be strengthen through the process.
  • The show will be better since everyone involved will have a better idea of the essence of each show due to the negotiation process.

So, in short, pick it up and give it a read. Its pretty fast and easy to read, and it may help some of those future budgeting discussions.

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