Organizational Development

Organizational development is the structured, intentional process of moving an organization from its current state to where it wants to be, or its future state. The focus of development is on the organization’s culture, processes and structures and making targeted change to better equip the organization to meet its strategic goals. The Mediation Group’s team of interdisciplinary consultants works with organizations who are interested in engaging organizational development as a part of an effort towards ongoing improvement, and/or as a way to address endemic conflict. 

One way to determine the difference between an interpersonal conflict and a need for organizational development is to ask whether the conflict remains even when the people change. Is the new director of research and development perpetuating the same old worn-out conflicts that the last director did? Have the last three senior vice-presidents all been jerks? Is no member of the organization, regardless of how skilled, able to secure (and keep) a decision on important matters? In these scenarios, attempts to change or train the individual fail. These tenacious and recurring conflicts do not have to be destructive. Rather, they provide important data about the organization and momentum to improve overall organizational functioning. 

Whether organizational development is part of a routine process or a means of addressing chronic conflict, The Mediation Group’s experienced organizational team works hand-in-hand with clients to design and implement organizational changes that are practical, effective, and sustainable. 

Some examples of the kinds of work we do are:

  • Strategic visioning

  • Strategic planning

  • Talent and performance management

  • Team development

  • Leadership development

  • Managerial skill-building

  • Executive coaching

  • Decision making

  • Training

  • Negotiation support

  • Change management

No matter what process is right for an organization, we work closely with our clients to diagnose organizational challenges, identify stakeholders, develop options, implement changes, and collect feedback. Through each stage of our work, we build on the knowledge and skills that already exist within the organization by blending existing organizational strengths with best practices. This enables our clients to maximize their capacity, creativity and teamwork. Our short-term partnerships yield our clients long-term gains.

For more information on how we work with organizations, please see our organizations practice page.


Facilitation

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Facilitation is the process of guiding a discussion  and may include exploring issues, clarifying decision making criteria, asking questions to focus ideas, managing group dynamics, resolving conflict, and achieving outcomes that are fully supported by the participants. (“Facilitated negotiation” is one definition of mediation.)

The Mediation Group’s professional facilitators are neutral, experienced and compassionate — the right combination to foster targeted and purposeful discussion. We use facilitation to meet our clients’ needs in four ways. 

Meeting Facilitation

For some of our clients, having The Mediation Group facilitate their meeting or retreat is a one-time event. For these engagements, an outside, neutral facilitator is better equipped to design a productive meeting, keep the conversation on track, enable the participation of all members, clarify decisions, solidify action plans, and address unresolved conflict. By handing over facilitation duties, all participants are able to participate fully.

Facilitation can also provide an ideal laboratory for understanding and improving group dynamics. During meetings, The Mediation Group’s facilitators can identify behaviors and patterns that benefit the group and those that are holding it back. With guidance from a skilled, caring and experienced facilitator, groups can cultivate productive group norms and behaviors that transform their meetings into powerful tools for change and progress.

Organizational Development

For other clients, facilitation is part of a larger intervention. For example, our organizational development work such as developing a strategic vision or revamping a performance management approach  involves a great deal of work conducted through facilitation. 

Public Engagement

Effectively engaging the public in a deliberative dialogue on important community matters is no small task. The groups are often large, the issues are critical and groups have polarized into opposing camps. Details may be technical and complex. Careful consideration of the process and framing of the issues can mean the difference between forward momentum and stalemate. The Mediation Group’s facilitators have both the experience and expertise to assist public officials and community leaders in managing and facilitating contentious public engagement to explore issues, build buy-in and reach decisions.  

Partnering

Partnering is the process of anticipating challenges in multi-stakeholder processes and developing strategies and protocols for resolving them before they arise. The Mediation Group has provided partnering services for a variety of large-scale projects including highway construction and coastal flood damage control, working with public agencies, construction contractors, the impacted community and other stakeholders.

Examples of Our Work

The Mediation Group has provided facilitation services to a broad spectrum of public and private sector clients in both small and large group settings concerning a variety of issues. Three examples of our facilitation work include working with the Federal Aviation Administration on the Massachusetts Port Authority Noise Abatement Study for Logan International Airport, facilitating the New York State Roundtable on the Future of Biosolids, and working with the Massachusetts Highway Department and various stakeholders to anticipate problems during major road construction such as Route 2 Acton/Littleton/Boxborough and I-91 Viaduct Partnering Follow-up / Problem Solving.


Case Evaluation

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Case evaluation is a process in which a legal case is presented to an impartial evaluator, who then gives an opinion of the settlement value of the case and/or a non-binding prediction of the likely outcome if the case were to proceed in the courts. 

Case evaluations can be provided to both parties as they consider how they may want to proceed in litigating or otherwise resolving a dispute. Sometimes, case evaluations are provided to just one side in a dispute. For example, TMG case evaluators have provided coaching, consultation and advice to attorneys and litigants contemplating their likelihood of prevailing on appeal.

The perspective of an experienced neutral can be helpful to those whose close personal involvement in a case makes it difficult to consider the risks and benefits critically and objectively. TMG case evaluators have also been engaged by counsel as they prepare briefs or oral arguments. Sometimes this consultation occurs solely on submission of written documents. In other instances the evaluator meets in person with counsel as they work to strengthen their presentations or document submissions to the courts. Case evaluation is most often useful in litigation involving such issues as commercial, trusts, real estate, insurance or construction disputes. 

TMG offers a distinguished panel of retired judges and senior attorneys to serve as case evaluators. Their legal expertise supports efficient and well- reasoned decision making in complex legal matters.  

Fees for case evaluation depend on the professional selected, the number of parties and other factors. Please give us a call — we would be happy to send you a detailed fee schedule or help you determine the costs that would apply to you.


Our Experts Specializing in Organizational Development