Magazine article Management Review

You Can't Do That!

Magazine article Management Review

You Can't Do That!

Article excerpt

Since the beginning of human history, we have tried to outsmart our opponents in deals and bargains. The smarter individual would gain an advantage from the deal and would use that knowledge in the next. In most cases, one had to rely on his or her own intelligence. Sometimes, there were friends and partners, but the cleverness of the dealmaker was of utmost importance. Over time, this has developed into a profession called The Corporate Lawyer.

In the beginning, people did their bargaining governed by the Ten Commandments. Today, we have at least 100 different codes of law to consider before we conclude any deal.

A simple transaction like selling a product for a certain price involves at a given moment legions of lawyers who must ensure that such a deal could, under no circumstances, result in any obligation from the seller to the buyer. The most common phrase used in this process is, "You can't do that."

Despite all the big talk about freedom of commerce, speech, religion, opinion, and so forth, our lives have become a structure of legal codes and regulations. Do we need these codes? There is no doubt that without them we would have chaos; a secure and structured life would be impossible. Do we need all these laws and codes? This answer is much more complex.

We buy so many products without understanding the manufacturing and functional processes and quality and the total added-value that this product will give us. We only think we know and understand what we buy. The average buyer has to be protected against greedy vendors. Clever marketing campaigns tell us that we have an urgent need for the product. We often find out much later that this is not the case and that we have wasted our money. When we try to reverse the deal, we come to the small print and find that the lawyers have made this simple transaction nearly impossible. …

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