Fightingour roots? If these are our biological roots, is true human nature and cooperation a doomed story? Are conﬂict and violance simply in our genes, rendering negotiation and conﬂict management useless? Is cooperation only sustained by a thin layer of culture?
“Survival of the ﬁttest”Social Darwinism: life is a struggle in which those whomake it should not let themselves be dragged down bythose who don’tHerbert Spencer (19th century) tanslated what he sawas the laws of nature into business language, coiningthe phrase: “survival of the ﬁttest”The book sold hundreds of thousands of copies
“And while the law (of competition) may besometimes hard for the individual, it is best forthe race, because it ensures the survival ofthe fittest in every department”Andrew Carnegie(Scottish born American Industrialistand Philanthropist. 1835-1919)
“If evolution and the survival of the fittest be trueat all, the destruction of prey and of human rivalsmust have been among the most important. . . . Itis just because human bloodthirstiness is such aprimitive part of us that it is so hard to eradicate,especially when a fight or a hunt is promised aspart of the fun.”William James(American philosopher & Psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement ofpragmatism, 1842-1910)
Ruthless competition becomesa law of natureCompetition became a law of nature - the evolutionaryspirit became the adagio of businessWe ambraced competition and the resulting conﬂict asour chief organising business principleBiology is called upon to justify/explain a society basedon selﬁsh principlesThe “homo economicus” is born
We established a very unproductivenegotiation environment Belgian political negotiations Union - labour negotiations• Nobody can be trusted• Negotiations are suboptimal - compromise• Conﬂict is all around - the evidence is striking
85% of employees exposed toconﬂict2008 Study among 5000 employees in 9 countries (EU/Americas) 15%Have to deal 29% Have to deal 56%with conﬂict with conﬂictalways / frequently occasionally
Costs of conﬂict 2008 in terms ofemployee time in the US alone 359 000 000 000 USD Conservative estimate!
Legal costs • Nearly 90 % of US companies engaged in litigation (27 to 147 average number of law suits at any given moment) • More concern about high costs of litigation than about winning • Costs are very hard to assess, but run up to 5 % of company’s overall gross revenues
Workplace consequences of conﬂict witnessed 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Personal insults & attacks 27% Sickness & absence 25% Cross-departmental conﬂict 18% Bullying 18% People left organisation 18% People ﬁred 16%Employees moved to other departments 13% Project failures 9%
70% see managing conﬂict a critically importantleadership skill - how do managers do? 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Managers Employees Managers handle conﬂict well Managers do not handle conﬂict as well as they should
Cost of conﬂict Unresolved conﬂict and ineﬀective cooperation represent the largest reducible cost in many businesses
Eﬀects of unresolved conﬂict • First order eﬀects • missed deadlines, termination costs, recruitment expenses • Second order eﬀects • missed opportunities, increased supervision
Is it reallynature? Biology is often a justification Every debate abour society and governments makes huge assumptions about human nature, which are presented as if they came from biology. But they almost never do (Frans De Waal) Assumptions about biology are always on the negative side
Our inner ape is not nearly a nasty asadvertised: the apes trust each other! Biologists (the only ones with comparative material) conclude that we are group animals: “highly cooperative, sensitive to injustice, sometimes warmongering, but mostly peace loving” Empathy and cooperation come naturally to our species - if you give food to a group of chimpanzees, within 20 min. everybody will have some food. Many animals survive not by eliminating each other of keeping everything for themselves, but by cooperating Biologist plee to overhaul assumptions about human nature that turns out to be a projection. Competition is obviously part of the picture, but 95 % of the time the creatures that represent our biological roots are cooperating Violence is in our genes, but so are reconcilliation and conflict management
There is as much cooperationand trust as competition innatureIt is not nature holding us backHow do we nurture thecooperation?
We need to develop our NQ (Negotiation Intelligence)As we evolve from Shareholder to stakeholder capitalism ‣ Sustainable companies manage to reconcile these interests Market to Society ‣ In the market, consumer organisations, NGOs, governements etc. play a role ‣ Leadership will be conditional upon consensus building capacity ‣ NQ becomes increasingly important
The logic ofNQ (Negotiation Intelligence)• The logic of rational choice• The logic of appropriateness• The logic of transformation • Cooperation is more then a selﬁsh cost/beneﬁt analysis based on a set of ﬁxed utility functions (preferences) or an adherence to appropriatness (norms and emotions) • Cooperation is increasingly about the co-creation of joint opportunities, about turning confrontation into cooperation • WE NEED A LOGIC OF TRANSFORMATION TO DEVELOP A NEW NEGOTIATION CULTURE
The model ofNQ (Negotiation Intelligence)Unlocking ﬁxed potential Knowledge Unlocking ﬁxed value Skills Unlocking the safety kit Attitude Masterkey
From individual to organisationWe also need Corporate Negotiation Intelligence (CCQ)Given the bottom line impact of our negotiation behaviour, weneed to develop a systemic approach rather than a case by case adhoc approach - often leading to champagne at the signing of adeal, but bitterness afterRecent studies show that, even during the economic crisis,companies with a high negotiation majurity performed much beterthan the avarge (a decline with more than 30 % versus an increaseof 42,5 %)
We are currently designing a construction plan forCNQSome building blocks include:• Key negotiators trained and aware (no one-oﬀ event)• Optimised negotiation processes• Cross-stakeholder collaboration (including the implementers and the overall strategy designers)• Approval and escalation system (mandate)• Measurement of negotiation success• Common negotiation standards (corporate playbook)• Knowledge sharing system
Towards anew negotiation cultureIf we want to move from improved negotiationcompententies to a new negotiation culture, weneed to work on:• Individual NQ• ONQ
Mission for HR managers?• Only 20-30 % of HR managers reports that they are strategically involved• Yet, HR managers are strategically well placed to foster a new negotiation culture based on Negotiation Intelligence
Thank you for your attention!Prof Dr Katia Tieleman,Vlerick