What is Mediation?
Disputes arise because of assumptions, misperceptions and misinterpretations. Mediation offers the opportunity for people to come together and work through their issues and concerns – calmly, reasonably and respectfully – and, with the assistance of a skilled and impartial mediator, make their own decisions about how to manage matters.
Mediation is based on the following assumptions:
- The best decision-makers in a dispute are the people themselves.
- Disputes are most effectively resolved on the basis of interests and needs rather than on the strict application of law, or on the exercise of superior power.
- To resolve a dispute, parties need to hear and understand each other through direct and constructive communication.
- A negotiated agreement is more likely to reflect the needs and to gain the commitment of the parties than a decision imposed from outside.
- Mediators can assist by providing an environment and a process for negotiation, enabling the parties to focus on the content of their dispute.
- Thorough preparation before bringing people in dispute together is an essential component of ethical and effective mediation practice.
- In some disputes such as workplace matters it may be necessary to have a representative of the organisation involved in the mediation in order to assist in implementing, supporting and monitoring any agreements made.
Mediation is a voluntary process that recognises that after matters have been settled people will need to continue to be able to work or live or coexist together. Mediation as a non-adversarial and collaborative approach to sorting things out offers the opportunity to support and enhance people’s relationships. It is about creating fair and workable solutions in fair and workable ways.
To discuss your mediation needs:
What is Facilitation?
Facilitation is a process that aims to make things easier, more effective or flow more smoothly for those involved. Facilitators assist by managing the process and ensuring that all involved are supported and encouraged to participate. Facilitators can be helpful in a range of settings including strategic planning, program reviews and evaluations and training and debriefing.
Facilitation is based on the following assumptions:
- the knowledge of a group is greater than the sum of its parts
- to be effective groups need to achieve a balance between the task they need to do and the relational needs of the group members
- preparing people for facilitation is a necessary, separate and distinct step in the facilitation process
- individuals behave differently inside and outside the group and this has consequences for how a group operates and makes decisions
- facilitators need to monitor the ‘pulse’ of a group at various levels and modify activities and sessions accordingly
- facilitators help groups function effectively by supporting them to identify and explore the unconscious norms and modes of behaviour that may be operating
When a group of individuals meet there is a great deal going on, at both an individual and group level. Whilst this may have little, directly, to do with the matters the group has come together to deal with, it will have both a direct and indirect impact on the likelihood of the group getting its job done. Skilled facilitation helps groups work together more successfully.:
To discuss your facilitation needs:
What is Dispute System Design?
Disputes can occur in any context. In situations where they arise on a regular basis and require consistent intervention from others, dispute system design offers the opportunity to develop a clear and methodical approach that delivers greater certainty, accountability and efficacy for all involved. Dispute system design assists by analysing the levers, drivers and tipping points for disputes. It then identifies dispute prevention strategies and determines the best mix of dispute management processes.
Dispute system design is based on the following assumptions:
- Where disputes occur on a regular basis or are of a particular type, effective and ethical dispute management depends on understanding and addressing the systemic causes of those disputes.
- Good communication is a powerful inoculation against unnecessary conflict and dispute prevention mechanisms are an important component of resilient dispute system design.
- Dispute management approaches must be agreed to and supported by those involved and not just imposed from above or outside.
- Low cost informal mechanisms that support those in dispute to deal with matters early and quickly and on the basis of interests and needs rather than on the strict application of law, or on the exercise of superior power are likely to be effective for all involved.
- Dispute system design approaches must incorporate, as appropriate, mechanisms for addressing imbalances of power and ensuring the public interest remains protected.
- Independent scrutiny of any proposed dispute management system and regular and independent review of any final system is necessary to maintain the fairness and appropriateness of that system.
People in conflict are often very quick to blame the other person. Dispute resolution helps them to see issues and each other in a different way. Dispute system design helps organisations to see an even bigger picture and find integrated and consistent ways of preventing and minimising the cost of conflict.
To discuss your dispute management design needs:
What is Thought Partnering?
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein
Thought partnering is a process of thinking collaboratively and creatively. Thought partners challenge your existing habits and ways of thinking to help you to think differently about ideas, assumptions and approaches in order to create new processes, options and solutions. Thought partners provoke your thinking and by doing so support you to innovate and create with clarity and confidence. Thought partnering can be undertaken with individuals, teams, groups or organizations.
Thought partnering is based on the following assumptions:
- In a knowledge economy, thinking is the basis of a clear competitive advantage.
- Thinking is an act of imagining, reasoning and problem solving that helps anticipate future events and future responses beyond what is current practice.
- Intelligence and thinking are not the same and a thought partner works to challenge you to apply your intelligence to your thinking.
- Thinking the same way about problems is the same as not thinking about them at all.
- It is always easier and much less costly to think about potential risks and consequences and how to address them in advance than to do so when things have gone wrong because of a lack of thinking.
- Thought partnering is like archaeology it uncovers what lies beneath in order to build the right solution for the real issues.
- Thinking differently requires engaging with and valuing those who think differently to you.
To discuss how thought partnering can assist you:
What are our research services?
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle
Strategically targeted research can support organisations to achieve their vision, to communicate the value of their services and programs and to develop inventive and compelling ways forward. To achieve the habit of excellence.
We offer a range of qualitative and quantitative research services including Cost Benefit Analysis, which is a powerful and highly credible tool for evaluating the effectiveness of programs and services.
Our research approach is based on the following principles:
- identifying and clarifying the purpose gives rise to the most useful research;
- great research, like thought partnering, is a type of archaeology which uncovers what lies beneath in order to build the right solution for the real issues;
- gathering both quantitative and qualitative information provides the basis for consistent and astute decision making;
- identifying the linkages between research projects and their contexts gives rise to flexible, responsive and versatile approaches;
- understanding what doesn’t work and why is the vital ingredient in getting to success; and
- research is not an end in itself but merely the beginning of the conversation.
To discuss you research needs please