Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43
As the Brexit negotiations continue, both parties are to a greater
extent continue to misread what the other party is thinking and in fact display
classic signs of negotiation failure namely they have their heads in the sand and
On the EU side according to Ambrose Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph(premium) “The established narrative in EU capitals and
the European press is that Britain has gone off the rails and is committing
egregious self-harm. ….They laughed at ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Now they are
repeating the error with ‘better no deal than a bad deal.’
A leaked memo from the European Commission suggests that the
two key officials, Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker, have been shocked by
British resistance.They are belatedly waking up to the risk that the UK will
walk out if pushed too crudely on the €100 billion divorce bill, and if it is
made to sign before talks start on the future relationship.”
On the UK side, the country is totally unprepared for the
economic impact of leaving the single market.
Evans – Pritchard concludes “What is clear is that the EU
and the UK are now living in a parallel universe. This has the makings of a
Suspense thriller or not, both parties could do worse than
read Jim Collins’s classic work Good To Great and apply the principle - Confront
the brutal facts.
We live in an age of knowledge and information; however, it
is of little use if we do not do believe what we know to be true.
High quality leaders get the information; accept the facts;
Information comes to the leaders of organisations in a
variety of ways.
Surveys and other research techniques can provide data, but
often the most critical and most important information comes from people within
the organisation, if there exists a climate where information can flow freely.
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill established a
department that was entirely outside of the normal chain of command; he called
it the Statistical Office and the primary responsibility of the office was to
provide him with information that was up-to-date and unfiltered.
created a climate of truth from which he could confront the brutal facts.
While it is unlikely that Prime Minister May/EU Commissioner Junker will create a
“Statistical Office”, there are other ways they could create a climate of truth
• using questions, such as why, to gain understanding
dialogue and debate where people are engaged in a search for the best answers
discussing mistakes openly, without blame, to seek understanding and learning
building mechanisms that force leaders and negotiators to pay attention to
Sadly even though there is so much at stake it is very unlikely that both negotiation parties will do this primarily as they are too prejudiced and too complacent.