Conflict Resolution|International|Mediation

A Good Video for Cross-Border Mediation

Last year I had occasion to show a mediation video to a group of senior claims executives of European insurance companies who had assembled in Zurich.  They loved it, and I was reminded just how powerful this video is to introduce the process of cross-border, cross-cultural interest-based facilitated negotiation to business people.  And it’s online!

CPR Institute made this video — “Resolution Through Mediation: Solving a Complex International Business Problem” — in 2003 as a co-production with the International Trademark Association.  Michael Leathes (then of British American Tobacco, now of International Mediation Institute) was the driving force behind it.  CPR offers the hard-copy and INTA offers the online access.

The 40-minute video depicts a dispute between a Russian and an American distillery over the trade dress of competing brands of vodka.  The dispute is mediated by F. Peter Müller, a wonderful neutral with offices in Munich. 

The video is fun as well as enlightening.  Two favorite moments for me are when the Russian businessman dismisses his attorney’s protests saying “We are not in the legal business,” and when the American attorney asks the mediator incredulously, “You’re not suggesting that we do business with these people???”

Hard copies on DVD are available from CPR in a 29-minute and 40-minute version, and in many languages (including Russian, Spanish, Polish and Arabic!).  A Study Guide is available, prepared by the esteemed Cathy Cronin-Harris.  I do recommend it enthusiastically for use with business clients for whom mediation is a new experience, as well as for clients with cross-border and/or IP disputes.

  1. Truly, a picture (or a movie) is worth a thousand words. Videos like the one you describe can help parties from both sides develop a better understanding of their business partners and the situations in which they will find themselves. Only by being prepared will many international training partners be successful.

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