Kevin P. Mohan
Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
Kevin P. Mohan is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and a Senior Advisor at Summit Partners, a $15 billion venture capital and private equity firm. Kevin also serves as an independent director for several companies and nonprofit entities. Kevin teaches Negotiations and Deals in the MBA elective curriculum program.
Kevin P. Mohan is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and a Senior Advisor at Summit Partners, a $15 billion venture capital and private equity firm. Kevin also serves as an independent director for several companies and nonprofit entities. Kevin teaches Negotiations and Deals in the MBA program and the Executive Education program at Harvard.
Kevin began his career with the Harvard Management Company in 1986 where he invested endowment capital in private companies and investment partnerships. Kevin later worked for McKinsey & Company as an engagement manager in the New York office. He joined Summit Partners in 1994 and led over 20 investments, ranging from $3mm to $125mm per company, primarily in technology and industrial growth businesses. He served as General Partner and then Managing Director for many years and recently transitioned to a Senior Advisor role.
Kevin’s investments and board roles in industry-leading companies include: Blue Ocean Software (help desk software), Focus Financial Partners (wealth management), Nomacorc (synthetic wine closures), PeopleAdmin (software for universities), and Triton Systems (automated teller machines).
Kevin currently serves as a Director or Trustee for Asten Johnson (advanced fabric manufacturing), Boys Town (national childcare services, Chair-Elect), City on a Hill (charter public school), Father Flanagan’s Fund for Needy Children (nonprofit endowment, Chair), Spruce Street (independent school, Chair), and Washington Mills (fused mineral manufacturing).
Kevin graduated with honors from Harvard College, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.
Kevin is married with three children and lives in Boston. He retired after running 19 Boston Marathons and now cycles annually in the 180 mile Pan Mass Challenge to raise money for Dana-Farber cancer care. Kevin’s wife Anne Williams is an Executive Vice President at a global manufacturing business founded in 1868.
Managerial success requires the ability to negotiate. Whether you are forging an agreement with your suppliers, trying to ink a deal with potential customers, raising money from investors, managing a conflict inside your firm, or resolving a dispute that is headed towards litigation, your ability to negotiate will determine how well you perform.
Because others do not have the same interests, perspectives, and values as you, negotiation skill is critical-professionally and personally. This course will enable you to become a more effective negotiator by enhancing your abilities to:
- Identify (often-overlooked) value-creating potential in different situations;
- Design and execute agreements that unlock maximum value on a sustainable basis;
- End up with an appropriate share of the value that is negotiated;
- Understand the vital role of ethics in negotiation, even where the parties' ethical standards vary dramatically;
- Work with people whose backgrounds, expectations, perspectives, values, and ethical standards differ from your own; and
- Reflect on-and learn from-your experience.
This course will teach you how to analyze, prepare for, and execute negotiations at a sophisticated level-through actions both at and away from the bargaining table. It will give you the opportunity to enhance your strengths as a negotiator and to shore up your weaknesses.
Moving from simple (two-party, one-shot, price deals) to complex (multiple parties and issues, internal divisions, long time-frames, cross-border deals), the course integrates three complementary perspectives: analytic, behavioral, and contextual. While we will analyze a number of traditional case studies, the heart of the course is a series of interactive negotiation exercises. These exercises will give you hands-on negotiating experience. You will learn first by actually negotiating, and then by stepping back to compare your approach and results with others. You will be able to test your analytic ability and tactical skill, and to experiment with new approaches.
The course is a laboratory in which you will be both experimenter and subject. Sometimes the most important learning comes from apparent "failure"-and so the course is designed to let you fail in the safe setting of a classroom, and thus help you avoid costly real mistakes.
Grading will be based on class participation, a short paper, and the final exam.
This advanced negotiation course includes both negotiation simulations and analysis of actual corporate deals. In the first part of the course, students will participate in complex negotiation simulations and debrief their results in class. In the second part of the course, student teams will research and analyze real world corporate and other transactions in order to present their most important aspects and lessons to the class. For some of these presentations, the lawyers, bankers, and/or principals who participated in the transaction under discussion may assist in the team's assessment.
Topics developed throughout the course include: how negotiators create and claim value through the setup, design, and tactical implementation of agreements; complexities that can arise through agency, asymmetric information, moral hazard, and adverse selection; structural, psychological, and interpersonal barriers that can hinder agreement; and the particular challenges inherent in the roles of advisors as negotiators. The course will also explore the differences between deal-making and dispute resolution; single-issue and multiple-issue negotiations; and between two parties and multiple parties.
The basic Negotiations class is a suggested prerequisite. Evaluation will be on the basis of class participation and a team project based on analyzing and presenting a deal. Students can alternatively choose to write a paper instead of the project.