Many of my fellow "Boomer" readers will remember the 1990s Bud Light beer commercial, "Why Ask Why?" For those who don't and want a trip down Nostalgia Way, here's one of the better (?) ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGY52NnKL_8
"Why ask why" the announcers used to say. And the only reason I ever came up with is that his question rhymes with their answer, "Try Bud Dry." They never really gave an explanation, or any motive for actually giving this watery beer a try. Is Bud Dry even around anmore?
I don't see it much in the supermarkets I frequent, San Diego being a Craft Beer lover's Heaven on Earth. In any case, that campaign never got me to "try Bud Dry" even if I do remember the product (and the TV commercial) 30+ years later. Actually I thought they were selling Bud Light. And yet, their question, "Why Ask Why" deserves a proper answer. The answer to "Why?" suggests your motivation, your purpose. If you ever want to get to the root of your motivation, do the "5 Why" exercise: Keep asking "why" 5 times and you'll find your motivation.
I'll start by answering a Why of this blog you might (or might not) be wondering: "Why has it been 10 months since the last Andrew's Ax?"
The simple answer: It's complicated. Not really. I just like the contrast between "simple" and "complicated." The truth is, I uprooted my Tokyo home base of 30 years and moved to San Diego. The whirlwind of activities--namely finding and furnishing a new home and getting my younger basketball-fanatic son enrolled at the basketball powerhouse Torrey Pines High School, along with frequent trips back to Tokyo (I'm maintaining Permanent Residence, corporate clients, and "professing" at 3 universities, plus 2 new audio programs (Get a G.R.I.P. audiobook and the Creative Companion (about to drop!)–add all that up and the Blog took a back seat.
But....and this is a big-ass but: It's TIME! As some of you may know, these entries often find their way into my books, and a new one is just over the horizon: Get a G.R.I.P, on Negotiations, which I'm working on with the former head of McGill's MBA program in Japan and my favorite coach, Scott Maltby. We're in the very early stages, and who knows how the final book will look, but I can promise you this: It's going to answer all the questions you and I have about this critical Global Readiness® skill, and, dare I say, the skill that cuts to the root of business.
The root of business? Just ask your Spanish-speaking friends about "negocios." "Negocios" translates to "business" in English. So "negociar" or "to negotiate" could also mean, at its root, "to engage in business." At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it....until one of my Spanish colleagues corrects me. Vamos!
And how do I know the new book will answer ALL your questions about this complicated, emotion-laden skill? Because I am inviting you, Dear Reader, to send them in. What would you like to know in order to improve your success rate at negotiating anything, anywhere, anytime? I'm curious. For me, among other curiosities, I want to understand the emotional drivers, why some people love to negotiate while others hate it, how to best prepare for people who engage in "dirty tricks," when to be more aggressive and when to let things drop. Beyond getting the best price (which you and I also want), how can we get that price and (if we want) maintain a good relationship with our counterparts? And how can we find those "gifts beyond price"? (Get the Rush reference there?)
If, as I posit, "negotiations" is a core Global Readiness® skill and the (or at least a) root of business, let's explore Negotiations together. Send your questions, comments, your toughest cases, over to us (by commenting here or writing me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org). If we use your question or case, we'll either attribute it to you or keep you anonymous –as you prefer,
Whether your aim is "Getting to Yes," "Starting with No," "Never Splitting the Difference," "Negotiating the Deal You Want" (all titles among the hundreds that we're scouring), this next book will get you and other readers closer to the bull"s-eye. Especially with your input! So please do....hit us with your best shots!