Stanford University and Eastman Kodak were locked into an unproductive dispute over a site in the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, on which Eastman Kodak held a long-term lease. Kodak no longer needed the site, but because the lease restrictions allowed only photographic processing on the site, it was unable to find a buyer and wanted Stanford to buy out the lease at what it considered fair market value. Stanford wished to retake control of the property, but was unwilling to modify the lease restrictions. In addition, there was some degree of possible environmental contamination involved. A fruitless and acrimonious offer-counteroffer history of bargaining had failed to resolve the issue.
Stanford and Kodak retained Ms. Gray to assess the situation and to design a process by which they might explore possible solutions in a more constructive manner. After some diagnostic discussions, Liz designed and facilitated an off-site “recalibration” and process-building session, and facilitated several joint sessions during the course of the negotiations.
Ultimately Stanford and Kodak agreed to a very creative solution of high-value to each organization. The transition of the property occurred smoothly and the improved working dynamics between the organizations enabled them to address several other outstanding issues between them in an effective way.