Monday, 29 October 2007

Women in SET strategy for London 2012

PAWA consulting has been appointed to help the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology to develop a strategy for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The first phase of this project will run until March 2008, and involve a combination of strategy development and networking with key stakeholders.

As the first step of this project, Paul will be attending the JIVE Conference at the National Motorcycle conference in Birmingham on 30th October 2007.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


I am afraid that our main website has been highjacked. If you try to enter you are taken to a site that has nothing to do with PAWA consulting.
We can only apologise if this then leads to problems. We are looking into the matter urgently.

Best wishes
Paul Wright

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Training courses for Social Enterprises

Paul will be running training for Social Enterprises in Hull on Friday 12th and 19th October at the Octagon Centre. The sessions will focus on Tendering processes, and on Sales & Marketing and Management. For more information, please contact us on

These courses are part of a planned programme of 4 sessions that will be rolled out to Social Enterprises in other regions.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Game Theory for a better planet

The Economist newspaper is a useful source of information for any consultant, trainer or business person. In our courses on negotiation we include some examples of Game theory - the idea that human interactions can be usefully considered as games, and that people's likely behaviours and strategies can then be anticipated without too much personal bias clouding our judgement. One of the most famous of these games is the Prisoner's dilemma, which is often attributed to John Nash, but actually originated with Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher at RAND.

The Economist article (linked above) reports a recent paper that suggests this can be used to break through the political Impasse associated with the Kyoto protocol. Basically it builds on the finding that people's behaviour changes depending on whether you are dealing with them on a one off basis, or repeatedly. The details are worth reading, but the proposal is fundamentally that instead of a long term agreement such as Kyoto we should have annual agreements, with sanctions for rich countries and incentives for poor countries - that makes it easier for rich governments to show progress without making a long term commitment, and allows countries to easily sign up later rather than opting out altogether.

Of course in an ideal world everyone would agree everything all at once - but this is not an ideal world. In business too we have to be careful of "all or nothing" deals when people may be more attracted to a "one step at a time" approach.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Improved Buying Negotiations Course

Paul will be running a one day training course for the Engineering Employers Federation Sheffield Association on 18th October 2007, at Broomgrove House in Sheffield. The course is open to both members and non-members of the association for only £240 + VAT. For further details please contact EEF Sheffield on 0114 2680671, or click the link in the title above.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Variable pricing

Apparently Radiohead has a new album coming out on 10th October 2007 called In Rainbows. It will be available as both a set of physical artefacts (CD, album, liner notes etc) and as a digital download. The facinating thing about it is that the price of the download is up to the buyer to determine. How much do you, the consumer, want to pay for this album of music (that you have not yet heard)?

An amazing approach (if true, and I have my suspicions like many people). Certainly a great example of marginal pricing - Radiohead has paid for the recording, and have a lot of money in the bank, and the actual cost of distribution is low so even £1 per download will probably make money. The traditional model says that you charge the same for the download and the CD, and try to make all your money on the initial release.

There has long been a theory that for established artists, cheap or even free downloads would make them more money. That few people would pay £10 for a Led Zeppelin CD, but millions would pay £1 for their entire catalogue - so what is the right price point?

This comes on the same day that The Charlatans has announced that they will give away their new single and album in order to create interest for their tours, which is where they really make money. And to be honest, I can't image being remotely interested in buying their new album but I might download it for free, then decide that they are worth seeing live. So as a promotional tool it works well.

The day before Travis had a CD attached to the Mail on Sunday, but even at £1.90 I thought that was more than I wanted to pay for a Travis CD - though I was happy to pay that for the Prince CD Planet Earth.

The music industry is going through convulsions trying to work out how their business model has to change. The one thing that is clear is that recorded music is vulnerable, but going to a gig is an experience that people will pay for. Increasingly this seems to mean that recorded music is just an advert for the live experience. Which is a bit hard on poor live performers, but may be a return to how music has traditionally made money.

The success or failure of this experiment will have big implications for the music industry. And possibly for other industries that can also utilize digital distribution - software and games. For years there have been shareware software programmes, where people sent a donation of whatever they felt a programme was worth. Or frequently didn't. Can you imagine if Microsoft and SAP tried the same?

Or if the business services industries moved to clients paying what they felt a piece of work was worth, rather than a day rate or fixed project fee? New business models would be needed for both buying and selling.

How much did I pay Radiohead? What do you think?