Nokia was the leader in the mobile phone industry and then almost went bankrupt, while the reasons are numerous there are lessons to be learned. In the book Transforming Nokia by Risto Siilasmaa published by McGraw Hill .NY, 2019 the author offers some views . Mr. Siilasmaa was Board Chair for a number of years.
Over the past few blogs, Mr. Siilasmaa approach of being a paranoid optimist has been outlined. Part of the Board Chairman’s job is negotiating and to be successful the following should be done:
Maximum face time in negotiations
Keep the negotiation team small and the feel of the discussion intimate
Team up a negotiator who matches the counterpart. ie CFO to CFO
Plan your negotiation tactics in advance. Prepare for all scenarios.
Be systematic and clear on what you ask. Know your limits, know your deal breakers and know when to give in.
Keep your board with you every step of the way.
Keep up momentum in the negotiations. Make sure that there is always a next step agreed to by both parties.
Ask boldly for what you need. Explain clearly the why of it. Do not be afraid to push the envelope, but focus your energy on doing so in a way most likely to produce your desired outcome.
Relationship building is an important part of negotiating. Trust keeps the lines of communication open, even when negotiations break down, and enables you to restart proceedings. Trust is the oil that makes everything run more smoothly.
Obstacles are an opportunity to create trust.
Leave your ego at the door.
Use your brains to do what makes sense according to the circumstances. Be bold, humble, eager, and patient. Be yourself. Combine intuition with rigorous analysis and a hefty dose of caution. Be prepared for any alternative and you will never be surprised.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, in the book Mr. Siilasmaa outlines the sale of the business to Microsoft and Nokia transforming fo a digital communications infrastructure business. It was not easy but good principles and values helped make the transition easier. What values do your companies have?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time- to raising questions.