302: Unpacking the Standing Neutral w/ Kate Vitasek

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By Philip Ideson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

You are probably familiar with some of these terms if you have ever participated in a complex contractual arrangement: arbitrator, mediator, certified deal architect, even the “wise persons committee.” All of these titles refer to objective third parties that are brought in to help resolve high-stakes situations.

Kate Vitasek, a member of the graduate faculty in executive education at the University of Tennessee, and the creator of the Vested model, has recently co-authored a whitepaper that takes the concept of the roles above and modifies it to meet the needs of ongoing, complex third-party relationships.

A “standing neutral” is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is different than the roles above in that a standing neutral is brought in before the conflict occurs; they are part of a contract’s governance structure. They are neutral, and mutually approved by the parties to the contract.

Kate provides background and case examples to show:

  • How, when and why two (or more) companies might bring in a standing neutral to facilitate contract governance?
  • What impact the standing neutral role has on the relationship associated with the contract.
  • That using the right standing neutral under the right circumstances allows companies to proactively prevent conflicts and misalignment that could rob both parties of intended value.

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