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Interview with Frank Zerunyan J.D. on his new book: Newgotiation for Public Administration Professionals

Newgotiation for Public Administration Professionals conveys practical tools for students, executives, public and private administrators, managers and professionals to improve performance and relationships in this highly competitive and global marketplace. While the book is oriented towards Public Administration Professionals, the principles taught inside can apply almost anywhere.

For more information or to purchase the book click here.

S: Tell us a little about the book?

F: Newgotiation for Public Administration Professionals is a short, to the point and readable book to understand the value of collaborative decision making for public administrators and others who care about sustainable deal making. Research shows that most negotiations fail. Only 30% of all negotiations conclude in a deal. While 100% of negotiators claim to seek a win/win result only 20% achieve it. In this book, we created a methodological framework, which we label the 4-10-10 technique of Newgotiation. This technique allows our public administration professionals to move through 4 steps involving 10 elements and 10 indicators every time they negotiate. In essence, we created a logic model or a road map for them to achieve the desired win/win. In the book, we attempt to create a common language for all to focus on building relationships and therefore trust. The Newgotiation technique is all about identifying the frame of the negotiation (competitive vs collaborative), identifying potential problems, crafting solutions, and structuring value creation and value distribution based on organizational priorities.

S: Why did you choose to write this book?

F: Simply put, public administration professionals cannot afford to lose in any negotiation. For example if there is a winner and loser in a labor contract negotiation with city employees, does the winning party really win? A system that emphasizes winners and losers inevitably leaves parties feeling slighted, as if someone got a raw deal. This feeling does not make for long term success in the public sector. The traditional negotiation taught in business schools and law schools promotes hard power and dominance in a competitive process. “Newgotiation” turns this traditional process on its head by building relationships and trust to cut a better deal through collaboration.

S: How will this book add value to its readers?

F: The traditional negotiation taught in business schools and law schools promotes hard power and dominance in a competitive process. “Newgotiation” turns this traditional process on its head by building relationships and trust to cut a better deal through collaboration.

Simply put, public administration professionals cannot afford to lose in any negotiation. For example, if there is a winner and loser in a labor contract negotiation with city employees, does the winning party really win? A system that emphasizes winners and losers inevitably leaves parties feeling slighted, as if someone got a raw deal. This feeling does not make for long term success in the public sector.

S: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

F: We are convinced that writing a shorter book is more difficult than writing several hundred pages. We made every effort to compress our discussion to make this book short, to the point and rich in real life examples. Our purpose is to use this book as well as our other training materials to build capacity among our students and Public Administration Professionals worldwide. While this book is rooted in literature, theory, analysis and practice, some of which are reflected by our original work in Governance, Good Decision Making and Newgotiation, we see this book as providing theoretical and practical negotiation insight to Public Administration Professionals focusing on the role and responsibility of the public leader both elected and appointed.

S: How has your education background and work experience influenced your book?

F: Yann and I are both academics but with more than 50 years of collective practical experience in law, public administration, local governance, human behavior and good decision making. We have been using and teaching the technique in our classrooms at USC, FGV in Brazil, Rennes Business School in France and various executive education fora across the globe. The technique is well tested and quite successful in various negotiation settings. We encourage you to read our short and innovative book. While we cannot guarantee success for each and every negotiation, we can guarantee that you will recognize the frame to either engage or walk away waiting for a better frame of negotiation to develop based on relationship and trust.

S: How can this book help public officials?

F: Research shows that most negotiations fail. Only 30% of all negotiations conclude in a deal. While 100% of negotiators claim to seek a win/win result only 20% achieve it. In this book, we created a methodological framework, which we label the 4-10-10 technique of Newgotiation. This technique allows our public administration professionals to move through 4 steps involving 10 elements and 10 indicators every time they negotiate. In essence, we created a logic model or a road map for them to achieve the desired win/win. In the book, we attempt to create a common language for all to focus on building relationships and therefore trust. The Newgotiation technique is all about identifying the frame of the negotiation (competitive vs collaborative), identifying potential problems, crafting solutions, and structuring value creation and value distribution based on organizational priorities. In conclusion, Newgotiation for Public Administration Professionals is a short, to the point and readable book to understand the value of collaborative decision making for public administrators and others who care about sustainable deal making.

S: What challenges and new developments do you predict in this field?

F: The political polarization and the cultural disruptions we experience are the backdrop for the need to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us. This book comes at a time when citizens locally, nationally and globally are demanding better governance, greater sectoral participation in public affairs and enhanced integrity and accountability of their leaders in all forms of negotiations.

We wrote this book with the intention of orienting Public Administration Professionals to:

  1. Focus on good and ethical governance practices
  2. Adapt the new paradigm of collaboration and consensus building
  3. Recognize worst and best negotiators and their tactics
  4. Review challenges and opportunities to achieve “integration” of interests or the “win/win”
  5. Create value for the people they represent
  6. Distribute value to sustain a long term and viable relationship with negotiating partners
  7. Facilitate collaboration through leadership

The orientation we describe in this book is a new perspective providing framework clearly based in normative theory but at the same time is suggestive of areas for empirical analysis plainly written for Public Administration Professionals around the world.

S: What is something that you learned while configuring this book?

F: Negotiation “Nega Otium” in Latin, does not have to mean denying leisure, free time, or pleasure.  Newgotiation is not a “magic bullet,” but it can improve the value of a deal by inventing, collaborating and good decision making.

S: A word about the authors?

F: Yann and I are both academics but with more than 50 years of collective practical experience in law, public administration, local governance, human behavior and good decision making. We have been using and teaching the technique in our classrooms at USC, FGV in Brazil, Rennes Business School in France and various executive education fora across the globe. The technique is well tested and quite successful in various negotiation settings. We encourage you to read our short and innovative book. While we cannot guarantee success for each and every negotiation, we can guarantee that you will recognize the frame to either engage or walk away waiting for a better frame of negotiation to develop based on relationship and trust.