From problem to resolution
Long-standing internal grievances drag businesses down. In an organisation like the NHS they can even jeopardise patients’ lives. Our mediation partners, Problem Resolution, specialise in resolving serious relationship breakdowns. By dealing with perception rather than the absolutes of right and wrong they have created a fast and binding approach to mediation that resolves over 90% of cases.
Grievances fester. Over time, years often, aggrieved parties do anything they can to find evidence that supports their version of events. The dispute descends into what Problem Resolution describe as a ‘conflict spiral’. Whole departments can become sucked into taking sides and stop functioning. The costs of taking any of this through the courts becomes very expensive.
Problem Resolution don’t deal in blame, they deal in perception. Their highly successful approach involves participants mediating themselves to a binding contract. By getting aggrieved parties to focus on solutions rather than fighting their corner, Problem Resolution helps them build visions of what a better future might look like. And which they can sign up to.
Problem Resolution is run by Mark Smithers and Deborah O’Dea. They combine Mark’s experience of striking binding deals with Deborah’s deep understanding of the NHS.
Their approach involves a one to one briefing followed by a group workshop to agree a solution. The workshop approach means Problem Resolution can work with up to 50 people at a time if needed. The process is entirely confidential, no notes are taken and the sole output is a contract that all parties, including the Trust, sign up to. It’s an approach that has worked successfully in over 200 mediations amongst parties including the RCN, BMA, MIP and NCAS.
A doctor has built up a series of grievances with another doctor over a period of years. The dispute has stopped their department functioning effectively. Traditional mediation techniques have failed and the dispute is headed to the courts. Problem Resolution works with the individuals involved (which now include more members of their team). At the end of a two-day workshop a contract is agreed and signed - binding them to a more successful working relationship.
Problem Resolutions interventions are fast and produce immediate results. The fact that the only output that matters is a contract keeps things simple. Dealing with large numbers in short time frames is efficient for the organisation too as the matter is resolved far more quickly than a longer term approach to mediation.
In short we:
- Help individuals and teams find their own solution, which they find easier to sign up to.
- Create binding contracts, which make the deal easy to monitor.
- Resolve cases that traditional mediation techniques struggle to bring to a head.
- End long standing grievances that seriously affect the ability of a Trust to function well.