Peter Hiddema

Peter Hiddema advises individuals, corporate executives, non-governmental organizations,  government officials and labour representatives on strategy for complex, multi-party negotiations. He has facilitated strategic planning negotiations and mediated labour disputes. He spends the bulk of his time helping clients enhance their ability to manage negotiations, conflict and strategic relationships both within and outside their organizations. His work has taken him from the industrial shop floor to senior executive suites, from suburban school districts to federal government departments. In the private sector, he regularly works with Fortune 500 global companies in a number of industries including financial and professional services, technology and telecommunications, health care, transportation and manufacturing. In the public sector, Mr. Hiddema has worked with a wide range of organizations including UN Agencies such as the World Health Organization, international non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) such as Mercy Corps, as well as universities, national and regional governmental bodies and indigenous peoples.

Mr. Hiddema first began using the Harvard Negotiation Project’s “Interest-Based” approach to negotiation in 1991 when negotiating loan restructurings and corporate bankruptcies in his role as a Corporate Banker at the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. From Toronto, Mr. Hiddema moved to London, England where he spent two additional years with RBC managing relationships with financial institutions in six European countries. In 1996,  he moved to the US to begin working with some of the pioneers in the field of negotiation: Professor Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton (co-authors of the best-selling book “Getting to Yes“) together with their colleagues emanating from the Harvard Negotiation Project.  Since then, Mr. Hiddema has had the honour and privilege of doing this work around the world. 

For several years, Mr. Hiddema worked on projects in various settings with Conflict Management Group.  CMG is an international non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded by Professor Fisher in 1984 (now merged with Mercy Corps). From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Hiddema served as Chief Operating Office and a member of the Board of Directors of CMG Canada. In the year 2000, Mr. Hiddema founded Common Outlook Consulting Inc., a firm specializing in bringing these concepts into practice and assessing the results of this work with clients.

For several years, Mr. Hiddema also served as part of a teaching team with Messrs. Fisher, Patton, Stone and Ms. Heen conducting an annual summer workshop at Harvard Law School – a one week intensive program on negotiation and communication skills for lawyers, diplomats and business people from around the world. Stone, Patton and Heen are co-authors of the groundbreaking book “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.

Before pursuing his Master’s degree, Mr. Hiddema was an Investment Advisor in the Greater Toronto Area, marketing and managing individual investment portfolios. He has also lectured and delivered workshops at several universities (for students as well as executives), including Queen’s University (in Canada and the UK), HEC at L’Université de Montréal, INSEAD (France) and Harvard University.  In addition to his native English, Mr. Hiddema speaks French, Spanish, and Frisian. A travel aficionado, he has voyaged through over 50 countries and lived in six countries on four continents. Educated in Canada, he holds an MBA from Queen’s University and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. Mr. Hiddema is now based in Canada and continues to work regularly with international clients.

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