Axiom Award Gold Medalist for Sales
From a leading Yale expert and serial entrepreneur, a radical, principled, and field-tested approach that identifies what’s really at stake in any negotiation and ensures you get your half—so you can focus on growing the pie.
Negotiations are incredibly stressful and can bring out the worst in people. Wouldn’t it be better if there were a principled way to negotiate? Wouldn’t it be even better if there were a way to treat people fairly and get treated fairly in a negotiation?
Split the Pie offers a new approach that does both—a field-tested method that reframes how negotiations play out. Barry Nalebuff, a professor at Yale School of Management, helps identify what’s really at stake in a negotiation: the “pie.” The negotiation pie is the additional value created through an agreement to work together. Seeing the relevant pie will change how you think about fairness and power in negotiation. You’ll learn how to get half the value you create, no matter your size.
Filled with examples and in-depth case studies, Split the Pie is a practical and theory-based approach to negotiation. You’ll see how it helped reframe a high-stakes negotiation when Coca-Cola purchased Honest Tea, a company Barry cofounded with his former student Seth Goldman. The pie framework also works for everyday negotiations. You’ll learn how to deploy logic to determine truly equitable solutions and employ empathy to expand the pie and sell your solution. Split the Pie allows both sides to focus their energy on making the biggest possible pie—to have your pie and eat it too.
"The challenge in negotiation is to frame the problem correctly," writes Yale management professor Nalebuff (Why Not?) in this thoughtful if uneven guide. The author's approach is based on his concept of "the pie," which he defines as "the additional value created through an agreement to work together." In every negotiation, the author writes, the most important thing is what both parties can "jointly create"; from this perspective, he explains, "neither side is more powerful" and thus "the pie should always be split 50:50." Nalebuff offers case studies—when his company Honest Tea was in negotiations with Coca-Cola, for example, he put the concept of the pie into action and struck a deal wherein "the two companies would split the pie, where the pie is the value of the extra sales made possible by this deal"—as well as negotiation tactics ("Let's agree to split evenly what we can create together" is a good go-to phrase). But things get bogged down by some dry math, and much of his argument rests on his belief that "the other side will come around as they realize you have taken a principled stand." It's a big claim, but not one that's amply supported. This is best taken as a handy addition to the negotiation toolkit rather than a universal truth.