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While in external negotiations there are times that if you do not reach a deal, you can just move on to your alternative or best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA),but in internal negotiations this is a much harder thing to do. Your organisation is unlikely to have two departments responsible for the same resource so that if you are denied that resource, there is nowhere left to turn. This lack of alternatives increases the internal negotiation tension and causes mini-monopolies to emerge inside a firm. Not only do such monopolies have a higher temptation to use their power, because the counterparty cannot walk away, they also have rules and regulations that diminish the incentives to find creative solutions. It is important not to act like a monopoly but to lead by example.

Four reasons why internal negotiations are harder than external ones

Jessica thought it would be easy to borrow two members of David’s team for a four-month project she’d been asked to undertake on behalf of the board

Once the implicit assumptions are out in the open, ask your team to reflect on whether they’re helping your company or hindering it. For example, in our consulting with a newly merged, international telecoms company, we conducted a simple exercise to help the newly merged entities to describe their cultural norms and those of the other parties. It quickly generated truths and myths that could be discussed and used to iron out blockages as they rolled out their distribution and cable network – the key to capturing subscribers and business operational success.

Tools for leaders to leverage organisational politics

Many CEOs enter organisations with ambitious plans to change strategies or processes. But they often find themselves up against organisational politics. Historical divisions and entrenched power structures can quickly hobble change

It is unlikely that the average person is willing to settle for such a sharp drop in their lifestyle. Based on current spending levels, the reality is that Singaporeans’ monthly retirement stipend will need to be closer to US$3,300 to maintain their current living standards. Most Singaporeans will draw US$550 per month from the Singaporean retirement income scheme for the elderly, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) LIFE. Contrary to popular wisdom, household spending does not decline significantly during retirement. This is often referred to as the retirement income puzzle.

Why your financial planner should be a robot

Retirement planning requires more data and less human involvement to nudge customers to a more comfortable future

You can also argue that a separate group or task force needs to be set up to examine an issue or bridge silos. It creates a ‘working space’ outside of the habitual structures, norms and routines of the organisation. It’s vital for innovation and change. For instance, a public agency was hampered because of slow structures and formalised steps to stop potential fraud. It meant that millions in tax revenues were not collected at the end of the year. Senior leaders decided to set up a dedicated task force outside of the formal organisational structure to solve the problem.

Tools for leaders to leverage organisational politics

Navigating four typical domains of organisational politics can help leaders overcome barriers to strategy execution

Keen-eyed observers might point out that people’s extent of foreign experiences is roughly in step with their social class. At first glance, our results might seem to be a rehash of past research showing a higher prevalence of immoral behaviour at the upper reaches of the social scale. But they remained robust even after explicitly controlling for education and income, suggesting that participants’ foreign travel—rather than their social status—was responsible for the increase in immorality.

Watch out for the well-travelled

Sampling a wide array of cultural norms can blur people’s moral vision

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