How Do You Design a System?

Typically a consultant, or mediator, is called.

More likely than not after she’s answered some critical questions are integral to her success with her client’s conflict issues.
She walks into the organization and meets with the upper management. Sometimes the C-Level folks, but usually they don’t get in on the act until later.
She listens and takes notes, asks important questions and looks for opportunities to generate a positive outcome.
She prepares a report, usually only a few pages in length, outlining the primary conflicts and players in an organization, the nature of the culture of the organization and possible solutions that could be generated.
 She floats the paperwork, quotes a price for continuing, and then waits…
And waits…
And waits some more…
Eventually, the upper management calls her back and, if another project isn’t taking too much of her valuable time, she goes back to the organization and gets to work.
At this point it would be convenient and effective to talk to the employees—from the janitor’s closet to the executive suite—about the issues, the conflicts and the cultures present in the organization.
However, this does not always happen and without the support of the entire organizational structure, typically the corporate executive folks in all of the divisions, from human resources to finance, good cultural design changes cannot occur.
Typically, a consultant will work most closely with the legal folks and the human resources division and will never see anyone from any other part of the structure.
Top-down conflict resolution systems with established internal features try to be swift, impartial, fair, confidential, simple and above all inexpensive.
But when was the last time that a top-down solution to a statutory (or non-statutory) organizational conflict worked to the satisfaction of all of those involved?
Then, typically, a consultant, or mediator, is called…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: