Whether a client is stuck in an unproductive cycle of conflict or looking to boost the creativity and collaboration of their teams, the organizational practice at The Mediation Group applies a wide range of processes and approaches to help our clients meet their goals. Our interdisciplinary team works collaboratively with clients to transform conflict from a destructive force into an opportunity for change, growth and creative engagement.
Our first step in working with clients is to diagnose underlying drivers of conflict and obstacles to collaborative team-building. Many interventions fail because they have not addressed the underlying roots of a conflict. As a result, you may see either that each conflict resolved is replaced by another, or that a conflict which was thought to be resolved continues to resurface. The Mediation Group has developed a diagnostic framework that ensures important drivers are not overlooked. The diagnostic framework has three main components, though not every organization needs work in all three. The key to successful intervention lies in identifying the appropriate combination and balance.
Our diagnostic framework for organizations has three main buckets:
Organizational structure includes definition of roles, division of responsibility, authority, reporting lines, and working groups (committees, teams, divisions). Misalignments among these factors are frequent contributors to organizational conflict.
Within the structure of an organization are a set of processes, or practices, through which work is carried out. These include decision making, communication, conflict resolution mechanisms, information gathering practices, etc. Poorly designed or inappropriately chosen practices may lead to strife as members try to get their work done.
Conflict also occurs at the interpersonal level. Often, there are specific conflicts to be resolved, relationships to be repaired, trust to be rebuilt. In addition, there are sets of skills that can be developed, including management, meeting design and facilitation, supervision, leadership, communication, and negotiation. Many groups need help not only resolving one conflict, but they also value developing the tools to constructively manage conflict in the future.
These areas are not just potential sources of trouble; they are also areas in which to build powerful tools for resolving conflict and improving collaborative team-building.
Over the years we have worked with a wide range of organizations with diverse goals. Some examples of how we combine processes to meet the diverse needs of our clients include:
- Mediation combined with Organizational Development: A medical practice contracted with us to conduct a mediation to address conflict among the top officers. We followed the mediation with work with the senior leadership team to address the underlying organizational structures and processes that fueled the conflict.
- Intergroup Conflict Intervention combined with Strategic Planning: An umbrella group for a set of five organizations brought us in to help resolve chronic conflict between the member organizations. We designed and facilitated a high level summit for the leadership of the member groups and the umbrella organization at which they were able to identify and resolve their major differences. We were then asked to lead the entire group in a joint strategic planning effort that resulted in shared, strong commitment to a reimagined set of strategic goals.
- Facilitation combined with Training: Facilitating a retreat to define goals for the next five years, and then conducting a skills training to enable members to better respond to deep disagreement and interpersonal conflict.
The process usually begins with a call to us from someone in the organization who is interested in exploring how we might help.
Our Experts Specializing in Organizations