Lessons for Effective Contract Negotiation with Laurie Ehrlich
The world of contracts isn't limited to just legal professionals and corporate executives; it affects entrepreneurs, freelancers, and consumers in various ways. Whether you're a business owner seeking to protect your interests, a freelancer setting the terms of your next project, or a consumer deciphering the fine print of a service agreement, understanding the intricacies of contracts is crucial. In this episode of the Contract Heroes Podcast, still at the WorldCC Summit in Dallas, we are joined by Laurie Ehrlich, Chief Commercial Counsel at Datadog. Datadog is an observability service for cloud-scale applications, providing monitoring of servers, databases, tools, and services, through a SaaS-based data analytics platform. In our conversation, we discuss the challenges and misunderstandings in contract management and the importance of education for both parties involved. Erlich shares Datadog's approach to these issues, including a multilingual FAQ and a playbook for explaining operational realities. We also discuss the use of heat mapping to identify key terms and risks in contracts, the standardization of NDAs, and the implementation of a system to streamline non-critical contracts. The episode concludes with insights on task delegation based on individual preferences.
WHAT WE DISCUSS:
- [00:22] - Introduction to Laurie Erhlich
- [00:41] - What is Datadog?
- [01:42]- Education as a Common Contracting Pain Point
- [08:43] -The risks and mitigations of contracts
- [10:02] -Automating contract review
- [11:18] -Standardizing NDAs and using technology for review
- [17:58] - The category of contracts for business stakeholders
- [18:35] - Enabling teams to focus on their preferences
- [01:40] “I think it's education. I think it's making sure that everybody actually understands what we're contracting about... this lack of understanding really makes it impossible to close the contract when the parties aren't coming from the same position " - Laurie
- [05:06] “We have a contracting effort, you on our website and it's actually attached to our standard form contract that explains what our business is so that the procurement or legal person receiving the contract understands in more like not business speak, but in legal procurement speak what it is that they're buying in legalese, exactly.”- Laurie
- [09:01] “You don't need perfect contracts. Most contract disputes don't happen in court" - Laurie
- [13:46] “I try not to change things for the organization as a whole. I try to change things for my team in a way that benefits everybody in the organization.” -Laurie
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