The bargain to keep the minority British Columbia government in power is not the only one that has been made.
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Alberta and the Canadian government have also got an agreement. In return for pipeline approval, Alberta has imposed a price on carbon emissions within the province and has agreed to phase out its coal-fired thermal power plants. Alberta believes its economic future remains tied to the oil sands and shipments of its products out of the country to world markets. The end of being landlocked means the end of American dependency. It means Alberta can get world pricing. It means more oil being produced from the oil sands resource. And it means a provincial revenue windfall from taxes on output.
There is a problem when an economy has most of its eggs in one big basket and a few small ones elsewhere.
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That is an apt description for Alberta. Each of these is a state-of-the-art business that could in time replace the jobs and revenues currently produced by the oil sands. But unfortunately, changing the Alberta economic paradigm from fossil-fuel to low-carbon-solution technologies seems to be far from the minds of those in the boardrooms or political offices of the province.
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The conflict over Trans Mountain is likely to produce no winners among federal, provincial, First Nation, and municipal governments, the principal parties to the conflict. For those of you who are readers from outside Canada, I promise to keep you informed about the outcome of this kerfuffle. In Part 2 of this series, I look at how fossil fuel energy producers are locking in long-term pricing as a hedge against the uncertainty brought on by climate change and efforts by governments and citizens to move to low-carbon energy alternatives.
He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. Alberta, Canada, British Columbia, First Nations and the Trans Mountain Crisis The Canadian government approved the building of a second Trans Mountain Pipeline last year to follow the route first laid down some years ago and tripling the amount of oil traversing this right of way to a Pacific Ocean port in British Columbia.
Secondly, how do we negotiate in regards to the value of the relationship? To negotiate or not is the obvious first dilemma and contrary to popular belief not everything is negotiable. Negotiating is one way of resolving conflict, but it is not the only way.
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An essential characteristic of negotiating is the flexibility provided by trading behaviour. We are often asked to give advice about conflict at work where a team member is clearly not performing and are often the result of poor communication or workplace discipline. In these situations, the best solution is to enforce the established workplace standards and processes rather than treat these matters as potentially negotiable. Similarly, an examination of your alternatives may reveal better options than negotiating and then making concessions.
Why would you need to provide a discount demanded by a customer when others are happy to pay your list price? This is a happy situation faced by Apple when demand outstrips available supply of their products.
Before deciding to negotiate, you must examine the alternatives you have to negotiating. This will depend on the state of the economy and structure of your industry. If you are selling trees in a forest, you always have the alternative of not selling this year and allowing them to grow for another year and become more valuable.
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Alternatively, if your product is fragile like an airline seat, a hotel room or a table at a restaurant, then if it is not sold today than the sale is lost forever. In these circumstances, you are far more likely to flexible in your pricing. This explains the abundance of flight and hotel deals available that are on offer. Your response to such a request will depend on whether your focus is on the transaction or the whole relationship.
On the transactional level, it may result in trading losses if you agree.
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On that basis, it would be relatively easy to decline the request. If you examine the whole relationship with the customer, there may be other reasons to support a price reduction. The relationship may underwrite the expenses of regional offices that profitably service a range of other customers in the region.
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The relationship may support a volume of purchasing which allows for significant discounts with your suppliers. If this volume is lost, other customers will face price increases. In these circumstances, the relationship is more important than the current transaction. Good negotiators have a clear understanding of both the importance of the current transaction and the overall relationship and craft their responses accordingly.
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Click Dilemmas of a Negotiator Part 2 for more. Keith Stacey Keith is a Principal Consultant with Scotwork and has over 30 years experience as a business consultant, educator and trainer. He is a regular consultant to senior executives in professional practice and his principal interests in management are strategic planning, project management, client-relationship management and conflict resolution.