Lately, I’ve taken to keeping a pen and paper close at hand in the car. For some reason, it seems that whether in a news story or a special report, real-world examples of organizations undertaking negotiations are popping up more and more often. My latest stop-light scribble read: “CSIS RCMP MOA”
It took a few seconds for the meaning of these letters to click – but once they did I remembered why the note was worth making – and sharing with you.
CSIS is the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The RCMP are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. And an MOA is a Memorandum of Agreement – or as I’ve sometimes called it, a ‘mini contract’ or ‘beefed up napkin deal’.
During the course of their investigations, CSIS and the RCMP work independently, each following their own regulations and protocol. However, if case files need to be exchanged between the organizations neither of their operating procedures address exactly how that should happen. Enter – an MOA.
In crafting an agreement between the agencies, each had to agree on how they would interact, what would be shared, how, by whom – each aspect of that information exchange needed to be formally outlined and signed off on. This way, nothing is forgotten and each time CSIS and the RCMP need to interact, each knows what to expect.
In this case, even though CSIS and the RCMP are both government agencies, with policies in place to regulate them, there are benefits to formalizing that relationship.
Does your business have relationships that could be improved by being captured in a Memorandum of Agreement? Are you working with vendors or industry partners based on a handshake or an email? It may be worth looking into drafting an MOA to capture the elements you are committed to focusing on.
This Real World Negotiation was inspired by a CBC Radio report on the relationship between CSIS and the RCMP