The Power of “No”

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Compared to $109,000 for four years at the average private college, the $24,500 you'll pay to take every course offered by the Camp Negotiation Institute (CNI) is downright cheap. Assuming, of course, that one of your goals in life is to become a Chief Negotiation Officer.

Jim Camp's Dublin-based online institute scraps the win-win approach favored by many negotiation pros for a system that acknowledges either party's ability to say no, and trains negotiators to focus on the processes they can control, rather than the ones they cannot.

Camp, an Ohio State University graduate and former U.S. Air Force pilot, was an airline captain when he was recruited to take over negotiations for the airline pilots' association. Negotiating "really, truly, became a first love," he says. "I've probably read everything written on negotiations, and most of it, honestly, I threw in the trash can, because most of it is garbage."

Author of Start with No and No: The Only System of Negotiation You Need for Work and Home, Camp has, by his count, instructed more than 100,000 people. CNI opened its virtual doors in September, using proprietary learning software called BrainX. A key component of the training is a real-time negotiation simulator that allows participants to experience scenarios modeled after actual negotiations.

After completing course material, students are vetted by a five-member credentials committee, all current or former CEOs. They must sign off before CNI anoints a Master Team Member, Master Team Lead or Chief Negotiation Officer.

Camp says his techniques have worked in everything from business scuffles over intellectual property rights to a teen's effort to gain entry into Princeton University despite a late application. "We run the spectrum, anywhere you're trying to make an agreement," he says. You'll find CNI at

Reprinted from the November 2011 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.