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on August 13, 2013
For anyone who has read the other books in the Vested Outsourcing series, Getting to We (published in August 2013) is the logical next step in the pursuit of more collaborative, value-based relationships between supply partners. A better way to think of the book might actually be as a `prequel' to the others, stepping back in time to explain how to reach the point where you are working in a Vested relationship. Getting to We is the connection between the vision of Vested Outsourcing and the negotiating tactics necessary to turn the vision into a reality.

If you are new to the Vested approach, Getting to We is a grounded entry point into a philosophy that emphasizes that when individuals and companies work together in unconventional ways, the results can be astounding. As with the other books by Kate Vitasek and her co-authors, this title does not assume that the reader is a buyer or a supplier. The same preference for cooperation is required regardless of the title you bear or the relative power you wield in each negotiation. This approach is not for every supply relationship, and should be applied only when the opportunity for strategic value creation exists for both parties.

Benefit of the Doubt

Rather than founding business relationships on transactions or dollar amounts, Getting to We recommends building collaboration around a nucleus of trust. That trust is made possible through transparency and compatibility. All parties involved must want the effort to succeed and be willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to the others, believing that they also want the same mutually beneficial result and are acting in the best interests of all. "Trust exists when a person or organization has confidence in a positive result even when issues and outcomes are out of its control, and there is a risk of a potentially negative consequence" (p. 25). Getting to We even suggests leaving some money `on the table' in a negotiation, indicating confidence that a real partner will not take advantage in the short term if it risks the longer-term opportunity. Knowing that the larger potential is greater than the gain of any one transaction helps the organizations resist the temptation to take action out of pure self-interest.

Rise of the New Negotiator

It is necessary to believe that the long term gains of a `We' relationship offer greater gains than could be negotiated through traditional competitive approaches. This attitude may be difficult for some negotiators to absorb. While anyone that understands the importance of value creation can adopt new techniques, Getting to We also creates the opportunity for a new breed of negotiators to rise through the ranks. `Credible' (as opposed to `muscular') negotiators have the advantage of being able to address dynamic needs at a higher level, working to make changes in collaboration with their supply partners. "In other words, credible negotiators are forward thinking (and acting), uncovering potential risks, and developing a mechanism to address those factors and then factoring them into the contract" (p. 32). The background and experience of the professionals that will excel under these changed priorities gives managers a reason to rethink their recruiting profiles.

WE Exists Beyond You and Me

In addition to being flexible about the creation and management of a contract, the agreement between the two partners must transcend the documentation itself. The length of a contract is often artificially determined based on market conditions, risk, etc. and assumes far more about the ongoing relationship than either party can know at the time of signing. The relationship, and more specifically the vision statement that the relationship is based on, replace the contract as the hinge between the partners. "A shared vision for a partnership breathes life into a We relationship. It gives people in the relationship a bigger purpose" (p. 64). Like the new approach to negotiation, defining a vision and steering the organization through the process of creation requires a skill set beyond traditional sales or procurement roles.

In the past collaborative supply relationships have been rare, only being considered and made successful under very specific conditions. While they are still not appropriate in all (or even a majority of) instances, the percentage is growing as companies realize the strategic potential of working side by side with partners. All professionals on both sides of the business relationship owe it to themselves and their organizations to be educated on the profile and creation of Vested relationships, and Getting to We is an accessible way to get started.

-- Kelly Barner, Co-owner, Buyers Meeting Point
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on October 2, 2013
This book provides an excellent guide on how to move from the traditional way of deal making to a more evolved collaborative approach. I blends very nicely the background theory with real world results and also gives an excellent recipe for how to go about collaborative deal making. The writing style is very approachable and this is not a heavy read at all.

I'd recommend this for anyone involved in deal making or setting the commercial/deal strategy for a business.
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on October 4, 2013
"Getting to We" is an important contribution to the literature on the creation of effective business relationships. Lawyers with this practice focus, and law students hoping to join their ranks, will find this book to be an invaluable resource.
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on November 16, 2013
Getting to We is more than a book about negotiating. It's a playbook for how we should operate in our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. It's only when we open our minds and hearts to collaborate in new ways that we stand a chance of switching to VUCA prime--vision, understanding, clarity and agility, as defined by the futurist and author Bob Johansen in his current 10-year forecast.

Jeanette Nyden and her co-authors do a great job of explaining the behaviors and processes we must take to build collaborative relationships. The six principles that are the foundation for these behaviors and processes are 1) reciprocity; 2) autonomy; 3) honesty; 4) equity; 5) loyalty; and 6) integrity.

These principles map well to what we now know about the social brain. If we leave behind our old ways of negotiating (Yes!) and instead work in brain-healthy ways, we can improve our thinking and be so much more innovative.

As other reviewers have noted, the messages of this book extend far beyond the Procurement function in organizations. Enlightened organizations will share this book across all of their functions and departments so everyone can benefit by learning about applying the power of Getting to We.
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on January 7, 2014
I was trained in business school on "getting to yes," including case studies and role-playing exercises. I loved the core philosophy -- looking for the benefits the "other side" was looking for, developing creative alternatives and working toward a mutually beneficial structure for a business relationship. But nowhere was there any discussion about what happens AFTER the deal is done. I don't think it even occurred to any of us MBA candidates that there was AFTER to be concerned about. This book nails it, with an easy and very readable "how to" approach. I've worked with both Jeanette and co-author Kate Vitasek, seen them in action and witnessed the impact they can have on real-world situations. Advice: Distribute this book among your team-members to build awareness of this new way of thinking about structuring buyer-vendor relationships for long-term success. Then get Jeanette. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book.
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on November 1, 2013
This book teaches, step by step, how partners can and should work together for the WE. It may be written for procurement but it applies to life in general.
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on June 22, 2014
I used to hate negotiating. To me it was simply manipulative gamesmanship. But all that changed when I read Negotiation Rules, Jeanette Nyden’s first book.

In this book, she and her co-authors take it a step further in their collaborative approach to high-stakes client relationships. I love how it all starts with determining the crucial foundation for the working together. It’s only when that’s settled that focus shifts to the transaction itself

If you’re pursuing long-term clients, this process works like a charm. When you read it you’ll discover how to get started down this path, jointly agree on a shared vision, negotiate the guiding principles and negotiate as “we.” Plus, you’ll learn what you need to do to keep the relationship healthy.

This book takes you far beyond “Getting to Yes” and is well worth the read.
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