From “Chicken Dance” to Mexican Hat Dance

It appears as if irrespective of how lengthy I acknowledged the truth that the “hen dance” all the time preceded negotiations, I all the time was studying new steps to the dance routine. Though the final word goal of the dance — to realize energy or place — by no means modifications, including the aspect of a brand new tradition to the combo, all the time brings extra, and considerably totally different, steps to the dance routine.

Within the scenario that follows, the “Dance Chicken” dragged out over a interval of years, and in the end, crossed the border into Mexico the place it turned commingled with some steps from the “Mexican Hat Dance” — an attention-grabbing mixture to say the least!

Simply to set the stage, I had been working for Ford in Mexico through the interval 1974 – 1977. In early 1980, I used to be the enterprise planning supervisor for one in every of Ford’s part manufacturing divisions in Michigan. At the moment, the entire division’s manufacturing operations have been positioned in southeast Michigan.

To the extent that the division required extra manufacturing capability, I believed that they need to critically take into account establishing operations in Mexico. There have been important benefits to find there when it comes to decrease labor prices, authorities incentives, in addition to export credit to call a couple of.

To me, it appeared like a “no brainer,” and I satisfied myself that everybody would signal as much as be on the crew to develop the mission. Accordingly, I arrange a gathering with the final supervisor and and some division heads, and invited them to a presentation outlining the advantages of finding in Mexico versus constructing extra new amenities in the identical space of Michigan. I used to be so certain of myself that I needed the entire “high canine” within the division to be there to take part. The assembly was attended by the final supervisor, “Gregarious Bob,” who in fact was positioned on the head of the desk. “Gregarious Bob” was flanked by his controller, and his director of operations. Additionally seated alongside either side of the desk have been the director of human sources, all 4 native plant managers, and nearly each different supervisor who caught wind of the assembly. I, in fact was seated on the far finish of the desk, reverse “Gregarious Bob.”

As I seemed across the room, it was a full home and I used to be about to steer what I believed was a effectively orchestrated dance. I need to admit that looking back, it felt as if the entire world was trying down at me.

Nicely, I outlined the proposal to “Gregarious Bob” who in a short time advised me that I have to be out of my thoughts. He vigorously suggested me that he believed that southeast Michigan was the precise location, and that he would by no means take into account working or residing exterior the US. As he’s saying the phrases, he’s flushing from pink to purple, and the veins in his neck appeared able to explode. It was about that point that the dance routine modified radically. Each one of many division heads and managers both leaned again away from the desk or truly pushed their chairs again from the desk. Aside from the shift in place sending a transparent sign that I had completely no help, it additionally gave “Gregarious Bob” a a lot clearer shot at me!

After all, everybody else within the room remained mute for a second, after which a couple of of my “shut allies” began taking “pot photographs” on the assumptions within the research. As soon as on a roll, in fact, they proceeded to assault the conclusion and the advice. In any case, why leap in on the dance ground when the music is off key.

The humorous half is about six months later “Gregarious Bob” accepted a job in Brazil the place he remained for a number of years. After that he spent a few years in Europe working different operations for Ford earlier than returning to the US. A lot for not getting concerned in operations exterior the US, or residing overseas.

As soon as the brand new normal supervisor settled in, I blew the mud off my “Mexican Proposal,” rescued it from my desk drawer and gave it one other shot. This time, nearly to my shock, I used to be inspired to proceed. Again then Mexican legislation required that automotive suppliers be established as joint ventures with the native companion proudly owning a majority curiosity. That started the following section of the “hen dance,” and I didn’t have a clue as to simply what number of new dance steps I used to be about to be taught.

As soon as we chosen a companion, from amongst a number of candidates, it took six months of steady negotiations to “ink the deal.” To say that the negotiations have been attention-grabbing and academic can be an understatement, significantly as this was my first endeavor in negotiating a three way partnership between two very massive enterprise entities each of which had a really definitive listing of “necessities.”

As soon as signed, the following section of the “hen dance/Mexican hat dance” started. As the power was constructed and the workforce educated, new steps have been being launched on each month. It appeared as if the 2 events have been repeatedly jockeying for place.

Though the preliminary section adopted a bumpy path, the events had the foresight to have a look at the long run advantages and work out their variations. As soon as the manufacturing operation was “up and working,” and was producing enough portions of top of the range elements, each events obtained “Past the Rooster Dance.” At that time they sat across the desk (slightly than reverse each other), put their heads collectively to “make the pie greater” in order that they every had extra on the finish of the day.

Backside line: They operated a really profitable, rising enterprise for a few years after I left Ford within the early 1990’s.

Mr. Newman has roughly 40 years of business expertise – 28 years as a part of the Ford Motor Firm administration crew, and extra not too long ago, as President and COO of the Strategic Alliances Consulting Group, Inc. His enterprise background encompasses a broad spectrum of expertise in numerous disciplines together with buying, finance, product planning, export planning, enterprise planning and worldwide enterprise growth.

On behalf of Ford Motor Firm and his different shoppers, Mr. Newman efficiently negotiated a wide range of joint ventures, licensing agreements, acquisitions and divestitures world wide. As President and COO of Strategic Alliances, Mr. Newman developed a strategic and enterprise planning course of that was applied efficiently at many automotive provider operations in North America and in Europe, at a charitable group and at a number of small entrepreneurial enterprise enterprises.

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