Canary Wharf NegotiationIn my forthcoming book on negotiation (“The Yes Book” out on Random House on March 28th) I talk about social and economic changes which have made “negotiating” even more important than it used to be. One of the changes I identify is that previously we used to be able to rely on big institutions to look after us like Governments and big corporations.

Now we no longer have that reassurance for two reasons:

1) Governments have run out of cash and are increasingly cutting public expenditure.

2) Big companies which used to provide the prospect of stable employment are struggling to adjust to on-going economic uncertainty and the decline in margins brought about by the digital revolution.

So we are increasingly operating on our own as individuals, and we therefore need to be ever-more self-reliant and resourceful. From an economic point of view, being able to look after yourself as a negotiator is a key part of part being able to look after yourself financially.

You can see this shift towards self-reliance in the never-ending announcements of job cuts by big companies – the trend towards down-sizing means those who leave have to negotiate more creatively and skilfully to look after themselves, whether they are seeking new employment or setting up, funding and operating their own business. Those who stay in employment have to become even better at negotiating to look after what they’ve got.

Job cut announcements from big brands since the middle of 2012…

[I include this list not to make you depressed (!) but just to remind all of us that negotiation is becoming an even more important skill set.]

JJB Sports Shutdown

  • Goldman Sachs – announced it would be looking for further savings of US$700 million in July, having already lost 1,600 staff during the preceding 12 months
  • Direct Line – announced cut of 900 jobs in September
  • JJB Sports – went into administration in October – 2,200 job losses
  • Ford – announced in October that it would be closing two sites with the loss of 1,400 jobs in a week during which it cut 6,200 positions across Europe
  • Credit Suisse – revealed in its October third quarter figures that it had cut 1,500 jobs out of a planned reduction of 3,500 jobs
  • UBS – announced in October it would be axing 3,000 London jobs as part of 10,000 reduction in its global workforce or, as UBS euphemistically put it “a strategic acceleration from a position of strength”
  • Deutsche Bank – announced in October it would be shedding 2,000 jobs by the end of the year
  • IAG (British Airways parent group) – announced in November that 4,500 jobs would be going at Iberia
  • Premier Foods – announced in November that 900 jobs would be going at Hovis
  • HSBC – confirmed in November that it had cut almost 30,000 out of its 267,000 staff
  • Citigroup – informed the markets in December that it planned to cut an additional 11,000 jobs
  • Comet stores shut

  • Comet – shut down in December with loss of 6,000 jobs
  • Jessops – shut down in January – 1,370 jobs lost
  • HMV – announced it was going into administration in January – 1,000 jobs lost
  • Honda – announced in January it would be cutting 800 jobs in Swindon

  • The Centre for Economics and Business Research confirmed in January that overall 100,000 jobs have gone from the City since the financial crash began in 2007 and predicted another 13,000 jobs could go this year.

    These are not isolated developments, but a sustained trend…

    Other cuts announced in the months up to the middle of 2012…

  • Hewlett Packard – 30,000 jobs (10% of workforce)
  • J.C. Penney – 14% of workforce (US$900 million savings)
  • Best Buy – US$800 million savings
  • Air France – 5,000 jobs
  • T Mobile US – 5% of its workforce
  • RIM – over 10% of its global workforce
  • NEC – 20, 000 jobs worldwide
  • Nokia – 10,000 jobs worldwide
  • Pepsi – 8,700 jobs worldwide
  • Yahoo – 2,000 jobs worldwide

  • These job cuts carry a terrible human cost for those involved – creating great anxiety for many people who might have assumed they had more security working for big companies. Effective negotiation skills can help alleviate that anxiety by helping those who lose their job, and those who stay, create a more secure future for themselves.

    Find out how I can help you increase your deal-revenue today by looking at my wide range of negotiation packages