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A need for self-surgery

25 years ago, management guru Gary Hamel was telling CEOs about the need for self-surgery. Facing the chill winds of globalization, he explained their need to urgently reassess many of the structures and policies that had come with their former greatness. Among these were the need to rethink the management systems that had been fundamental to their success, such as operating with multiple profit centers and promising 'employment for life'. Practices like these stood in the way of lean, efficient operations and collaborative, skill-based delivery systems. They faced the choice of self-surgery or the mortician - and in the subsequent 25 years, more than half the Fortune 500 have disappeared or left the list.

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Commercial power: who will own the interface?

Traditional sources of business value are under sustained attack, with current models often protected only by a flimsy regulatory environment.

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The disappearing world of Procurement

Too many procurement groups are on a path to nowhere. They are missing the golden opportunities being created by today's dynamic markets.

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A challenge for skills

When they respond to IACCM's talent surveys, 80% of contract and procurement professionals say they are confident that they understand the skills needed for the future. They also believe that they either have or can acquire those skills. Are they right?

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Workflow - a critical ingredient

Anyone handling contracts on a regular basis understands that managing stakeholders is one of the biggest challenges. Contracts touch and affect many people within and outside an organization, but in quite different ways. Some view themselves as owners, others as users and still more as reviewers or approvers. And then there are those who may simply be affected in some way by the aims or purpose of the contract.

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A landmark for contract & commercial management

The launch of the Journal of Strategic Contracting & Negotiation is a momentous event for anyone who cares about the field of contracting. For the first time, there is a dedicated academic journal that will promote and consolidate research in this area.

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Contracts drive efficiency and happy customers

'We have a mix of customers, some on contract and some without contracts. I analyzed customer satisfaction results - and found those with contracts are almost twice as happy as those without. The contracting process results in clear expectations and more disciplined performance.'

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Payment terms: do large companies abuse their power?

51% of contract managers say that payment terms have become a more contentious issue in their negotiations, with many smaller companies under pressure to accept longer payment periods. Overall, 70% of companies say that they have adjusted their standard payment terms during the last 2 years.

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Business asset or the preserve of specialists? The future of contract design and drafting

Last week, one of my blogs included observations on the way that attitudes to contracts are changing. In response, drafting guru Ken Adams challenged my suggestion that these shifting attitudes will lead to fundamental changes in contract design. I think his implication is that change, to the extent it happens, will not significantly impact contract structure, but will simply move from undisciplined pedantry to an alternative and more rigid style of authoring, based on his style guides.

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