When we moved into our new campus building, we brought our mobile campus to an end. As we prepared to exit, we could not find the original contract. Several people thought that we had agreed to leave the theatrical lights installed at the school. Others thought we were taking them to the next mobile campus.
The cost difference between these two “memory versions” was nearly $30,000.
Fortunately, we found the original paperwork and settled the misunderstanding. But, what if we had not documented the original agreement? It could have led to a major meltdown in the relationship.
Why do we avoid contracts (or written documentation of our decisions)?
- We believe that everyone will remember the agreement (but they don’t)
- We don’t want to appear to mistrust the other party (what if they are as forgetful as we are?)
- We assume everything will end smoothly (it rarely does)
- We don’t want to do the hard work of actually thinking through the nitty gritty details ahead of time
- We trust that everyone will be reasonable when disagreements arise (even if they do…why take the risk?)
No matter how insignificant…get it in writing.
Thanks for listening.
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