Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the world's largest information technology companies, operating in almost every country across the globe. HP’s decentralized approach to negotiation training had left it without a clear and powerful model to guide preparation, execution, and knowledge management in its key negotiations with suppliers. To address these issues, HP asked CBI to design and provide a comprehensive negotiation training program and help streamline HP’s approach to negotiation strategy.


Working with an internal champion, CBI designs and leads tailored negotiation workshops; provides a self-directed on-line negotiation course; conducts commissioned research; and helps HP’s Indirect Procurement team to identify performance measures and reporting processes.

Following an initial assessment, CBI designed and delivered tailored workshops for HP negotiators. We then provided advanced courses tailored to address difficult negotiations in the direct procurement context. Trainings addressed specific topics, including unique supply chain problems; negotiating with a large, powerful counterparts; and cross-cultural negotiation. CBI also provided targeted, one-on-one negotiation coaching for HP negotiators.

At HP’s request, CBI conducted research on how to tailor the Mutual Gains Approach for negotiations with counterparts in Japan, China, and South Korea (published in Negotiation Journal). CBI interviewed senior HP negotiators who operate in those countries to generate specific case examples; and (together with scholars from those countries) reviewed literature on culture and negotiations to distill key prescriptions. CBI’s research resulted in cross-cultural negotiation workshops that helped its HP participants to more effectively prepare for high-stakes negotiations with Pacific Rim teams.

Working with an internal champion (who became HP's Strategic Negotiation Program Manager) CBI helped develop a global negotiation planning framework. The framework included a balanced scorecard for measuring negotiation success. The framework also created a Global Contract Solutions group, which enabled the legal department to collaborate closely with procurement managers to ensure that HP’s most important interests were met.

CBI also developed a customized multimedia “foundational” presentation on negotiation that became available to all HP employees.


According to HP, CBI's assistance helps produce $1.5 billion in savings across 55 key negotiations, and leads to a more consistent approach to negotiation and managing negotiations, within the Procurement group, and beyond.

CBI training and assistance enabled substantial and direct savings in subsequent key negotiations, and also resulted in:

  • A consistent data-driven approach to negotiation strategy development
  • A formal, upfront executive approval process
  • The creation of positions dedicated to supporting and optimizing strategic relationships
  • More efficient use of executive leverage, which has empowered negotiators and increased their authority
  • Improved terms and conditions and reduced contract negotiation turnaround time.