In my prior post, we explored how important it is to have clarity about our own Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) as a basis for coming to a we with a potential partner. While Jeanette Nyden applies this framework to create an environment to formulate contracts between large firms, this post applies that framework to building a sense of we in business advisory groups, such as 3to5 Clubs.
For example, each member in a 3to5 Club has a clearly defined BATNA called a Business Maturity Date™ (BMD). Closely held private companies can be designed to reflect the values, priorities, and dreams of the business owner(s). Members of 3to5 Clubs each set individual BMDs for a specific day and time; it is at this moment the business owners achieve personal goals of income and time off to celebrate and invest their time/money in some transcendent significance of his or her choosing. As I described in my prior post, such self-awareness and intentionality is foundational to entering a partnership with others.
Members of 3to5 Clubs agree to not only achieve their individual BMD/BATNA, but also to motivate fellow members towards one another’s BMDs. This meets the conditions for a potential Negotiated Agreement: such an agreement must take into account what each member intends to achieve individually. In addition, members work to develop a mature club of 24 members.
At the beginning of every club meeting, members individually recite their BATNA/BMD and share what they’ve done in the prior two weeks to advance toward this goal. Attorneys typically urge clients to NOT to share this information, so they have greater leverage at the bargaining table. Ironically, the optimal solution in a negotiation has to support the BATNA of each person.
Therefore, 3to5 Clubs have a built-in framework for success!
On the surface, it appears as though each member is driving toward his/her own BMD. But members have an unspoken, untapped asset. Since members potentially understand one another’s BMD, it is possible to incorporate every member’s personal goal into a Club BATNA.
One particular Club developed a strategic plan embodying the metrics that defines Club success while maintaining a focus for developing multi-disciplinary teams within the Club (click HERE for details).
Perhaps you are accustomed to the rigor required to bring on a new employee/stakeholder. It requires a meticulous screening process to ensure cultural alignment to build the best possible team within a firm. On the other hand, partnership–whether formalized in 3to5 Clubs or informal–don’t require the same depth of alignment.
According to researchers at the University of Tennessee, there are five components for building a healthy framework for negotiating agreement:
- team orientation
These components are also essential to creating healthy business advisory groups, like 3to5 Clubs. Next week I’ll illustrate how each element can help business advisory groups and multidisciplinary teams to build mutually beneficial groups.
- I believe a business owner can consider her BMD the same thing as her BATNA. What do you think? How would you define your BATNA?
- Most people who attempt to establish and maintain groups find them challenging to maintain. How might the five elements above make that easier?