In 1989 Eastman Kodak’s CIO, Katherine M. Hudson—in a ground-breaking move within large U. S. corporations—decided to form strategic partnerships with corporations to whom Kodak would outsource components of its information technology infrastructure.
She asked Ms. Gray to design and conduct a workshop focused on best practices and capability development that would assist her negotiating teams, and her organization, prepare to negotiate and manage these strategic relationships.
Subsequent to the initial diagnostic assessment and working session, Ms. Gray was retained by Kodak and each of its potential partners (EDS, IBM, Rochester Telephone, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Businessland) to prepare for and launch their alliance negotiations. Thereafter she was retained jointly by the relationship executives to do annual assessments of partnership quality and to help them respond to changes in the environment and in personnel.
Liz’s facilitation and assistance in launching the negotiations enabled Kodak and its potential partners to move expeditiously toward crafting creative solutions, to understand where and when an agreement was not a wise business decision, and to build on a high-quality negotiation process in building their governance structures and processes.
Kodak’s initiatives, its resulting alliances, and Liz’s role were the subject of a major article in Fortune magazine [23 September 1991].