Thursday 12 July 2012

Winning by numbers: how performance analysis is transforming sport, and negotiation?

The July issue of Wired features a 4-page article on how video-analysis using Dartfish, a video-based software program, is helping Olympic standard champions improve their game.

In elite sports, being the most talented is no longer enough; top athletes also have to ensure they are the better prepared. They understand that their only sustainable advantage is to learn and improve faster than their opponents. The technology used by performance analysts allows them to measure every force, dissect every movement and time every action with absolute precision. That feedback allows athletes to find areas for improvement and aids the learning of new skills.

Application in sport
Applied to sports as diverse as squash, sailing, cycling and boxing, its use in improving skills in Taek won do, a Korean martial art suggests that this method of skill development might be applicable in fine-tuning negotiation skills in the NAM-Buyer relationship.

Use in negotiation
Incorporating video in a live session with the buyer, although desirable, is not feasible...
Realistically, this type of negotiation analysis is best used in-house, using real upcoming deals planned for major customers, with fellow NAMs and colleagues from Marketing, Finance, and  Production, all role-reversing key stakeholders in the supplier-retailer mix. The sessions should incorporate real numbers, ongoing trade issues and reflect the toughest scenarios anticipated in each live-deal negotiation.

Optimising analysis
Analysis should be constructive and rigorous, with each team-member exploring the recording from their job-perspective, assessing both verbal and non-verbal language, incorporating cost & value from each party’s perspective, together with ultimate impact of the deal on supplier and retailers P&Ls.

A bit (but only a bit) like role-playing of old, except for the live bullets and unprecedented downside of coming second best to an increasingly powerful buyer… 

Obviously, the use of the package in live negotiation might prove to be a step too far with even the most indulgent of buyers, give current levels of negotiating skills.

Besides which, who wants buyers keeping pace with your skill development in these unprecedented times?

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