Category: Strategy

Love Your Contract

I have a thing about creating lovable contracts. After all, contracts help you run your business, which helps you make money, which helps you live the life you love. Hence, contracts should be lovable. In Stefania Passera’s thesis, she says that a standard, ‘design-free’ reactively drafted contract conveys the impression

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Clear Contracts Create Success

In studying the role of contract visualization, Stefania Passera’s doctoral dissertation Beyond the wall of contract text (2017), she cites research that: Clear and implementable contract terms are crucial in building successful business relationships Well-structured and well-developed agreements foster better relations Long-term successful relationships require strengthened terms on communication, role

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Top Tips from 2017

In my column for Construction Manager Magazine, I have provided a series of tips for anyone reading, writing or reviewing construction contracts. What should you do? Use your contracts as tools to help you complete the project, not as an expensive paper-weight [never shove your contracts in a drawer, October

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Can We Contract for EQ?

In EQ in Contracts I asked whether any contracts refer to the need for a good standard of emotional intelligence (EQ) for the parties. Good EQ is critical to meet the demands of the construction industry. Elizabeth Kavanagh, head of research and innovation at Stride Treglown, emailed to say that

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Working in Tandem: Double Trouble or Total Trust?

Most contracts, whether in the construction industry or not, are based on a ‘bilateral’ relationship i.e. two legal people working towards a common goal. This is the bare bones of contracting. As the proud stoker of a tandem for the last 18 years, the analogy between tandem cycling and contracting

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Simplify Your Contract Strategy

The organisation Clarity is brimming with lovely lawyers and legal consultants fascinated by how we can simplify legal documents and overcome the barriers to changing traditional drafting. After a recent meeting, Cathy Wilcox introduced me to the Pathclearer project, and its developer – Steve Weatherley then Head of Legal at

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Great Things Come in Small Packages

David Hyner is terrified by detail, and Mike Pagan believes that contracts can be watertight, so how would they find talking to a construction contract lawyer? In my coffee shop podcast with YourBFG they asked me for my ‘mantra’ that kept me going… I remembered my mother’s words to create

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Negotiating for Win-Win

Negotiation tactics commonly used in the construction industry are a mix of psychological manoeuvres to get the best deal, ploys designed to change the other’s perception of their power and game plays that pressurise you to reduce your expectations. In this post, Derek Arden, author of Win-Win, How to Get

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EQ in Contracts

EQ is a measure of a person’s emotional intelligence. How many contracts make any reference to the need for a good standard of EQ? None? Interestingly some of the key skills for emotional intelligence in business, as mentioned in Dr Lynda Shaw’s book ‘Your Brain is Boss‘ are directly relevant

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Fool-proof contracts

Good advice when creating contracts: You can draft a contract with the aim of making it either fool-proof (by drafting it in simple terms) or rogue-proof (by drafting complex, detailed terms), but not both This comes from a speech from Max Abrahamson, whose principles of risk management in construction contracts

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