The other day I was watching my 4.5 year old son play. As he lined up his 7 favorite cars to race, I focused back on my work, only to hear him, a few minutes later, claim proudly: This car won and also this one and also this one.
I was about to stop him and explain and that in his race there could be only one winner when it crossed my mind that he might have touched for the first time the concept of win win. Usually for a child, especially in the interaction with the parents, negotiation is often binary. Either he wins and can watch one more cartoon, have one more biscuit or can go to a PJ party at his friends or ….not.
As adults we are more frequently engaged in complex exchanges with one another and managing to have every party come out with a win is the ultimate challenge, sadly too rarely achieved. Those who have ever tried negotiating a cab ride in Tel Aviv will know what I mean.
I am fortunate enough to work for a company that placed this concept at the center of its strategy. Opportunity Network offers an online platform for CEOs around the world to connect and expand their businesses locally and internationally. By partnering with reputable financial institutions in each country, we make sure that every member is reliable and ready to do business. It s not only a win-win. It is a win-win-win. Members experience an innovative way to find business partners besides than the expensive, time consuming worldwide conferences. Financial partners, essentially banks, enrich dialogue with their clients, gather exclusive and precious information and we, as a company, achieve our main goal which is to help global economic growth.
To establish the parallel, I asked my son to do a race rematch. Thankfully the outcome was the same. But this time I got to witness the whole event. The first winner was launched with strength in a straight line. The goal here was to experience the sheer pleasure of speed and power. The second car went on a whole adventure,sliding down the couch, gliding between the cat’s legs, avoiding the interception of the little brother , finally crossing the finish line and crashing in a lego construction. The last one flew from start to finish, ingenuously using the elastic of another toy as a catapult.
The winner was not the first one to cross the line. They were those who crossed it in the most original, exciting way , one that would match each participant’s key characteristics- here the fastest, the strongest, the lightest car.
It is pretty much the same in a business deal. All stakeholders cross the line, agree to the deal, at the same time. But each has a rational, expectations, objectives to achieve that vary widely from one another. When all these different ideals are fulfilled at the same time, it truly is Art.