Digital Negotiations: An Inclusive + Data-Driven Approach to Business

By Lilian Caldeira, Co-Founder, and Olga Mack, CEO, at Parley Pro

We all expected that by 2020 many of our technological dreams would come true. For decades, pundits made predictions about ‘The Year 2020’, envisioning our robot maids ushering us out the door to fly to work every day.

Well, 2020 was impressive alright. In fact, many of us were told not to go out of our front doors at all. Underneath it all, however, the technological future we dreamed about is here, even if it’s not exactly as we’d imagined.

On an upbeat note, 2020 showed us the value of using better ways of working together remotely. For lawyers, digital negotiations that occur on an online, discussion-based platform enhance remote collaboration by 1) allowing more inclusive, multiparty participation and simultaneous collaboration, and by 2) enabling data analytics that optimise decision- and policy-making processes.

As we discuss here, these key aspects help organisations improve their approach to business and position themselves as cultural leaders, now and in the future.

Enable cross-functional collaboration

Top-down management sometimes leaves little room for creative input or employee engagement. As a result, companies can be slow to adapt to change. Cultural leaders, however, understand the value of enabling people from all levels of the organisation, as well as outside advisors, to enrich their decision-making processes.

During digital negotiations that occur via a cloud-based platform, more people contribute their knowledge and experience during real-time discussions. Simultaneous collaboration empowers negotiators to map out and address key issues earlier to reach consensus faster. Discussions include the people who are closest to the situation at hand and most affected by the resulting decisions.

Collaborators need only to securely log in online to provide relevant details, new insights, diverse knowledge, and systems data. Technology also allows lawyers to assign each contributor to their relevant part of the negotiation. For example, operations executives provide direction as well as gain actionable insights that will help them in their role. Financial professionals provide and track monetary data. Greater transparency offers risk professionals enhanced visibility into contract and vendor portfolios. In-house and outside counsel develop true side-by-side partnerships.

Promote diversity of thought & fast action

Digital negotiations enable democratised access to information, which is a powerful tool for promoting diversity of thought. Engineers, experts, and others from multiple disciplines can highlight new angles to help legal teams analyse multiple aspects of an issue. Each participant gains new perspectives and develops a more in-depth understanding of decisions and policies that affect a company’s strategic initiatives. More employees and business partners make greater contributions to help organisations adapt more quickly to changing circumstances.

Creating a collaborative culture with technology makes legal more accessible throughout an organization. For example, it can allow individual departments and smaller teams to access the information it needs quickly and take the appropriate actions without waiting for top-down approval. The ability to move quickly is a critical competency needed to take advantage of fast-moving opportunities and protect against unexpected threats.

Make data-driven decisions and seize more opportunities

Data analytics offer clarity into how decisions and policies impact an organisation. Technology allows legal departments to track and analyse a range of metrics including relationship milestones, contract timelines, obligations and terms, contract types, amendments, expiration dates, and compliance deadlines.

Analysing data allows lawyers to more accurately assess current processes, track the return on investment for projects, and make smarter choices about new opportunities. Data helps in estimating the impact of proposed actions and their associated risks to help businesses determine which is most appropriate. Lawyers can evaluate various aspects and advise clients in ways that improve their business strategies. Finally, lawyers can become part of a larger team that drives the company forward instead of the department of ‘No’.

Leading with an inclusive and data-driven approach to business

Ever since the PC revolution changed the face of business in the 1980s, lawyers have been blamed for holding companies back from technological progress. Now, in the year 2021, we have the right technology for legal teams, and they can use it to help executives cast off stifling and rigid hierarchical management styles and position their organisations as cultural leaders.

Digital negotiations spur multidisciplinary collaboration and encourage teams to solve problems and achieve objectives creatively. By collecting and analysing business data, lawyers can evaluate the effects of the decisions made during negotiations to improve overall business strategies.

Followers merely respond to shifts in business culture. Take the lead with digital negotiations: a more inclusive and data-driven approach that enhances the effectiveness of strategic initiatives and allows more people to make contributions that matter.

[ Artificial Lawyer is proud to bring you this sponsored thought leadership article by Parley Pro, an all-in-one solution for contract negotiation and management. ]