An interesting clash of values blows up a deal

Mr. Lau from Hubei China and Mr McDougal (from Cincinnati) are about to sign a contract. The contract is for 200 million dollars over the next year, with Mr Lau purchasing equipment from the American McDougal.

Mr. Lau has one request. “I have a son and  I would like him to work in your company. Keep an eye on him;  he can go to US to learn English if you sponsor him”.

Mr. McDougal thinks: I cannot trust this guy. He is totally corrupt.

Mr. Lau thinks: I cannot trust this guy. I give him 200 million dollars business and he does not value our relationship.

The deal falls apart.

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10 thoughts on “An interesting clash of values blows up a deal

  1. Many of us get so caught up in seeing the world the way we see it; this is right, that is wrong – we miss the opportunity to achieve what we most desire. Thanks Allon.

  2. Btw- based on my experience : Israelis company & boss will not have such problem! Even American are pretty good at it nowadays!

  3. Based on my experince – Israelites company/boss are quite apt at getting closing these kind deals. The Americans are not far behind!

  4. Interesting short story indeed.
    When I train people on Negotiating across cultures, I use this kind of example to go further in what I call mutual value creation. I recommend each party to express their constraints and develop some indirect links with the purpose of the negotiation.
    In this case, both parties should analyse the Chinese constraints and identify opportunity to get the Chinese Son settling in the US in order to acquire skills in this equipment field; coming back home, he would be much more effective in fixing problems. Then both parties should consider the constraints of the US team and see how much the Chinese could shoulder them . That is the mutual contribution to the other party’s value chain. Often when Chinese ask some indirect service, that means they have a key request; they dare not impose it. It is the other party’s role to pick up this soft signal and make it a trigger to reinforce mutual cooperation. Thanks Allon for triggering some thoughts. André

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