What are values-based contracts?
Values-based contracts are also known by the registered trademark, Conscious Contracts®, and names such as Sustainable Contracts, Mindful Contracts, Vision-based Contracts, and Integrative Contracts. Originally designed for the conscious business movement, they’ve shown applicability to a broader range of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs find they help to focus their efforts and create a more sustainable foundation that allows smart growth. Here is an overview provided through two articles from Enlivening Edge Magazine.
Participants: Designed for lawyers involved in drafting and negotiating contracts. There can also be a mixed group including non-lawyer entrepreneurs, service providers, and clients.
Past Offerings: U.S., South Africa, India, Australia, and Europe. I’ve offered it several times to the Australian Corporate Counsel Association.
Time: I can introduce the concept in an hour. Ideally, it is a two-day workshop which allows for the depth that is necessary for a real application. An introductory workshop can also be delivered in a six-hour day. There is a Certification program which requires additional training and experience.
Content: The rise of the Conscious Capitalism movement, Reinventing Organizations, and Firms of Endearment means many businesses are focused on creating values-based cultures. This workshop will discuss how lawyers can assist companies align their legal documents with their company values, creating long-term sustainable relationships in all legal documents.
Specifically this workshop explores how lawyers can assist businesses to take the vision-led and values-driven journey further into their relationships with clients, service providers, employees and partners by eschewing old style legal contracts in favor of new ones which reflect the mission, vision and values of the contracting parties. In so doing, the lawyers have the opportunity to inquire into their own values and how they might impact their choices in life and law.
The workshop introduces the movement of Conscious Contracts® and equips participants with practical and relevant tools in drafting a Conscious Contract®. Participants are supported through the process of reimagining a contract from a traditional adversarial one, to one which responds to the needs of an organization trying to improve the relationships the business has with its employees, its suppliers, and its customers. Another core component of the new contract is that the parties design their own process for communicating about change and disagreements, allowing them to engage early in the process and resolve conflict at early stages.
There are several versions of the Conscious Contracts® training. I often co-lead with trainers who bring special skills. Some versions include design thinking and creative exercises. In Spain, Alex Carrascosa and I co-created a sort of contracts gameboard based on design thinking. We’re experimenting with start-ups with great success. The gameboard offers a structure to streamline the process and to get a lot of work done efficiently.
From the Comic Book Contracts Conference, Perth, Western Australia, December, 2017