Tim Cummins penned a great article for the newly relaunched Negotiator Magazine site on how Hypocrisy in Contracting Leads to Wasted Negotiation since ridiculous demands just lead to repetitive, predictable negotiations that bring little or no value to either party. And this happens more often than not since most large companies would never sign their own contracts, which are diametrically different from those they demand when buying, which is just ridiculous.
Not only do we have to ask what happened to our ethics (that most professional associations insist upon), but we have to ask why we are risking failure for the sake of assigning blame should things go wrong instead of working together to insure that failure never happens. Especially when research is demonstrating that creativity and innovation are closely linked with greater mutuality in key terms which creates a joint responsibility to ensure success.
It’s not hard to harmonize buy-side and sell-side contracts, and it’s not hard to put together a contract you’d actually sign with fair, bi-lateral terms and conditions that share risks and rewards and protect both parties. (the doctor is just an engineer, his paper works that way, and he didn’t need an arrogant overpriced lawyer to create it — in fact, he didn’t need a lawyer at all!) So why can’t we move forward on this issue?