IACM VSS: Creating a Negotiation Culture with Chris Atkins

Published by Brandon Taylor Charpied on

Click Here to Register for the Session

Chris Atkins (Chief Negotiation Officer, The Gap Partnership)
Moderator: Michel Mann
45 minutes 


Monday May 16
8 AM     US Pacific
11 AM    US Eastern
5 PM     Amsterdam
11 PM    Singapore

Tuesday May 17
1 AM     Melbourne


Abstract: A question for you. Why don’t we see butterflies the size of eagles, or beetles as big as dogs? The answer is spiracles, or more precisely lungs. Insects breathe through a series of small pores, or spiracles located along their body and the oxygenated air that they need to function diffuses into their organs. This is great if your body is small, but as it grows larger the diffusion is just not enough to carry oxygen to every extremity and organ fast enough for survival. Hence why larger animals have lungs to force the movement of air.

So, lack of lungs has restricted the growth potential of the butterflies.

What is holding your organization back? Does something need to radically change so that your business can reach its commercial potential? And, if that is the case, what change is going to accrue the biggest benefits?

It may appear strange that I, a negotiation consultant, working for the leading commercial negotiation consultancy should be talking about culture and organizational change. But it is both true and paradoxical that negotiation is, at the same time a niche activity and all-encompassing skill. It is, therefore, unsurprising that successful application of this set of capabilities to a commercial environment can be challenging but transformational. Is it enough to upskill your negotiation teams, let them loose in their deal-making, and hope for the best? Or, is a more structured, strategic and holistic approach likely to be more successful?

The answer – and I’m fairly sure there will be no surprises here – is the latter. The Negotiation culture manifesto from The Gap Partnership is a guide which sets out the case for this holistic approach, as well as the steps you need to take to adopt it.


Bio: Chris Atkins began his career working in sales at Rank Hovis McDougall, a British food company. He then honed his marketing and management skills at Coca-Cola, Courage Beer Company and Bulmer’s Cider. In 1997 he made the move to Hong Kong, becoming General Manager at Hutchison Whampoa (AS Watson), an international conglomerate, running ice cream, soft drinks and water businesses. These roles paved the way for Chris’ impressive track record in change management and turnaround. Chris led an international team implementing SAP in 11 Nestlé businesses across Europe and, as Managing Director at Nestlé Waters, he developed a two year plan which resulted in a complete restructuring of the company, including a new Senior Management Team, business reengineering and the introduction of multiple transformative projects.

Similarly, in 2009 when interim CEO of Mayerton Refractories, a worldwide supplier to the steel industry, Chris initiated a six month restructuring programme involving employee and site rationalisation, urgent cash flow development, debt reduction, organisation redesign, supply chain reengineering and the development of a new pricing strategy. It delivered exceptional results – a turnover of $100 million and a 50% reduction of overhead costs.

Chris joined The Gap Partnership in 2010 and, having completed a three year assignment as Managing Partner & Business Lead for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong, he took responsibility for Global Strategic Client relationships. Specialising in cross-cultural negotiation, Chris has utilised his wealth of knowledge from ten years working with Asian cultures in the region, as well as his experience delivering consulting solutions across the globe. Chris is now Chief Negotiation Officer, responsible for governance and delivery of Negotiation proposition innovation, delivery and governance globally within The Gap Partnership.


About The Gap Partnership:

The Gap Partnership is a management consultancy specialising in negotiation. The Gap Partnership helps organisations drive profitability, increase efficiency and reduce cost.

In a time of global upheaval, effective negotiation is more important than ever. Whether you are dealing with a merger, managing trade union agreements, repairing disrupted supply chains, or navigating a new commercial reality, negotiation is an essential skill for guaranteed success.

Visit the website for more information: https://www.thegappartnership.com/

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