This is a phrase I heard a highly experienced accountant say in a meeting the other day.
Its context was that a partnership was in play between a producer and a distributor. The one that made the product had only got into the market in the first place by teaming up with the person that could get their wares into retail. Despite agreeing to an exclusive arrangement, the producer was now actively seeking alternate routes to market. Consequently in direct breach of their deal, the whole enterprise was in danger of abrupt failure.
Yet this seemed so unnecessary, as success was undoubtedly accruing to all parties. The producer needlessly risked jeopardising the entire endeavour over his greed for a few dollars more.
The result at this time was that the distributor’s enthusiasm for these particular wares began to wane. It seemed a classic case of true win-win philosophy being ignored. At no stage did the producer ever frame anything from the distributor’s viewpoint, whereas the distributor constantly referred to how better-off the producer was, and could continue to be.