There I was, in a hotel room in Arizona (I’ll explain another day maybe), around 7.30 am. I’m FaceTiming with my wife Xiaofang who was in Blackheath Village, London, picking up our daughters Coco (5) and Norah (4) from school in the afternoon. They’re on the street, outside a great French bakery called Jade (you have to say this in a mangled attempt at a French accent – “zhaaad”). Our lovely Coco is in the middle of a meltdown, wailing and crying, and naturally doesn’t want to talk to me. Xiaofang is nobly resisting the natural parental urge to either (a) silence the offending child through physical violence or (b) run away screaming.
And the cause of the meltdown? It turns out that Coco was expecting to have a three-day sleepover with one of her best friends. They are also classmates, and apparently they had made very definite plans for this sleepover. Coco is adamant that it was all signed, sealed and delivered, and that they had worked out all the details. The only problem was that her parents (us), knew nothing about this arrangement – and apparently neither did her classmate’s parents. Hence the disappointment.
There might be a lesson there for us. For some things, unless you go through the proper channels, it just doesn’t count. (Some corporate structures can fall into that category, and may simply be invalid if the procedures aren’t followed.) More often, it’s about avoiding errors and backtracking, by taking into consideration the key issues (e.g. commercial, tax, legal and regulatory), before you invest time in detailed design and implementation.
N.B. If you need to implement or update intercompany agreements for a multinational group, you can get a free copy of our project planning form here.