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Write umbrella agreements to foster innovation and avoid regret

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Harvard Business Review
VolumeDigital Article, 20.06.2014
Publication statusPublished
Early online date20/06/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

More and more multinational corporations are experimenting with creating meta-agreements that spell out their aspirations. In studying these business agreements over the past decade, I’ve found that they represent a radical advance from business as usual. They help address the problems of traditional business relationships, allowing the parties to understand one another’s values and restructure their interactions in real time. In so doing, they provide room for joint development of innovative ideas in response to new circumstances and opportunities. In order to be effective, umbrella agreements must articulate companies’ values and their expectations for other firms’ behavior in language that is binding and enforceable, while providing mechanisms for revisiting aims and tasks.