The art of negotiation remains something of a Holy Grail for many people. It seems to many that only diplomats appear to have access to this arcane science. But there have always been writers and consultants who sought to demonstrate to amateurs how best to trick opponents into submission, without them even noticing.
“Negotiating means convincing someone” was the usual formula. And so the topic was often approached in a unilateral way; so-called ghost negotiators offered their services. These hired guns worked on behalf of and to the advantage of one negotiating party, and thus helped them to apparent success. This was entirely unsatisfactory, especially for practitioners who were interested in more than a short-term victory.
And then, in 1983, in a three-way encounter between
- an American Professor, brimming with initiative, from Harvard University Law School – Roger Fisher
- an unorthodox thinker from a Dutch entrepreneurial family – Frits Philips
- a cosmopolitan Human Resources Leader from Switzerland– Ulrich Egger,
all shared ideas as to how negotiations should be conducted.
Both European practitioners quickly recognized that the ideas of the highly successful Harvard Law Professor – especially given his proven track-record as mediator and advisor in international politics – were brilliant, and infectiously so. The research team around Roger Fisher had already achieved initial remarkable successes in preventing, dealing with and overcoming conflicts. Building on this, Frits Philips and Ulrich Egger were able to take the approach still further, expanding and modifying this work for practical application, especially in an intercultural (European) context.
After conducting their own fairly intensive negotiations, the parties signed a contract documenting their agreed cooperation. And so, on July 1, 1985, Egger Philips was founded in Zurich.
Over the next several years, Ulrich Egger, founder and lead partner for German-speaking Europe, was able to recruit up to a dozen Associate Consultants. Together with this team, Ulrich built up and consolidated a well regarded consulting firm, who, as of the start of 2014, was proud to look back on:
- Over 40 000 participants in seminars
- Hundreds of in-house customers in Switzerland and globally
- Dozens of successful mediations
- Dozens of coachings and advisory consultations
- Lecturing assignments at colleges and universities in Switzerland and globally
- Numerous cooperations with name-brand organizations
On January 1, 2012, former Associate Consultant Jochen Luksch joined the Executive Board as Partner. His aim: to carry the success story forward and to further build the organization as a service provider for the 21st century.