NEW RULES, Pt. III: Enhanced Party & Interest Mapping via Social Media

As we continue building on our groundbreaking 3D Negotiation™ approach, we at Lax Sebenius have been working to incorporate powerful new analytic tools and methodologies that mine public, open-source data from social media in order to help improve deal outcomes at every level.

Social media’s disruptive effects have been felt in virtually every corner of the business world. Yet the negotiations community has given this topic surprisingly little attention, leaving dealmakers unprepared to navigate the many challenges of the digital age, exposed to potentially critical vulnerabilities, and at a significant disadvantage to their more-agile, savvy counterparts who will increasingly gain asymmetric advantages using these technologies. 

In a recent webinar we hosted on on this topic, DavidJim and Ben explored how data that is made freely available on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and community forums can help inform negotiation strategy in virtually any setting. Showcasing different social media  platforms and a new suite of tools, we focused on a much smaller, more ‘in-close’ setting than we dealt with in previous webinars.  Specifically, we analyzed how these sophisticated tools could help a legal cannabis company negotiate a potential bankruptcy threat from unexpectedly adverse actions by its host, a small New England town. We showed:

  • How open-source data from social media might have helped our protagonist learn more about a crucial counterpart’s motivations, interests and personality;
  • How similar analysis might have been employed to better influence her position by using language, imagery and arguments borrowed from trusted sources to change her perception of the target deal;
  • How scanning through local media outlets and community forum groups could have helped identify a crucial latent supporter with a strong interest in the outcome and a potentially pivotal local network to mobilize; and
  • How low-cost actions on the part of our protagonist might have helped to neutralize a key hostile blocking coalition using wedge issues to divide a group with the ear of influential local leaders.


In case you missed our previous webinars in this series, recordings for both are available on our blog. In first, we used Amazon’s failed bid for a second headquarters (“HQ2”) in New York to explore how social media can give asymmetric influence to seemingly peripheral parties, using powerful new network mapping software to uncover hidden influence and outline how a sophisticated negotiation strategy might have led to a different outcome. In the second, we examined the crucial importance of proactively building up one’s resiliency online by studying our own Paul Levy‘s as CEO of Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center fending off a multimillion-dollar unionization drive armed with nothing but his own personal blog.

You can watch a recording of this session below, with about 30 minutes each of presentation and Q&A: