Newgotiation For Public Administration Professionals: A Groundbreaking Guide to Better Deal-Making

Successful negotiation is at the heart of good governance. It’s also one of the most difficult aspects of the political process – unless, that is, you possess the proper skills. The ability to settle disputes and forge agreements that work for all parties can make or break a manager. It’s also an important quality to have in life.

Two people who know the process well, Yann Duzert and Frank Zerunyan, have now developed a new way of thinking about negotiation. Termed “newgotiation,” their groundbreaking strategy is one that emphasizes collaboration, gaining and maintaining trust, and relationship building. They’ve developed something called the 4-10-10 method to help professionals achieve successful outcomes in the negotiation process.

Their book is called Newgotiation for Public Administration Professionals. It “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,” according to the descri​ption. “While the book is oriented towards Public Administration Professionals, the principles taught inside can apply almost anywhere.”

We had a chance to ask Zerunyan about the new guide. Here’s what he told us:

Why did you write this book?

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.

How can it help public officials?

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.

A word about the authors?

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. I served in public office for 2 decades both as a mayor and council member and as a state regulator under Gov. Schwarzenegger. 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.

In your experience, what is the #1 thing that tends to go wrong in traditional negotiations?

How much? Instead of Why? In our Newgotiation 4-10-10 technique, we describe that there are four steps, ten elements and ten indicators to every negotiation. The first two steps of preparation and value creation are instrumental to the success of the process. Most negotiations fail because traditional negotiators jump the first two steps and ask the question: How much? Unfortunately, that yields minimal results and sets a competitive process rather than a collaborative process to achieve the win/win. 

Can you give us an example of a successful deal that involved the principles or techniques of newgotiation?

I can think of many during my practice as a lawyer and as a local elected. As a lawyer, I “newgotiated” several very sizable commercial real estate loan workouts collaboratively to look for a win/win solution for the bank and the property owner. I found that transparency and unemotional data about the transaction win the day for a high-level conversation beneficial to the interest of both. As a council member, every negotiation with a developer or organization included and will always include the importance of the public interest. I always remind, especially folks from the private sector, that I am not elected to be a banker or investment advisor. I am elected to provide reasonable safety and security as well as a quality of life that my constituents deserve. So aligning interests and values are critical to negotiations, especially in the public sector.

Order your copy of Newgotiation For Public Administration Professionals here.


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