You may have noticed that my next posting on leadership has not yet appeared on our blog. Frankly, this is because, as the blog’s principal editor, I simply got too busy. My apologies to anyone who has been waiting for the next posting! It will be posted today!
Meanwhile, here is an update of recent activities. Naturally, I have taken pains to ensure that my clients’ confidentiality and privacy are protected in this discussion, where appropriate.
A large organizational assessment for a complex legal services organization
Recently we completed a comprehensive organizational assessment of a large law office that supports a diverse set of organizations. The assessment included interviewing each attorney and member of the staff of the organization and identifying themes and barriers to full productivity. A set of intervention measures was implemented, including some structural changes. The organization now reports that the office is functioning more optimally and sources of conflict have been eliminated.
Facilitating Environmental Impact Hearings for the United States Department of Energy for construction of new facilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory
In compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act, the Department of Energy hosted comment sessions around Northern New Mexico, seeking citizen input regarding the construction of a new facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Because the facility is intended to support research in nuclear materials, its construction is controversial among segments of the community who disagree with the current national approach to weapons and nuclear research. Several of the sessions were animated and required extensive patience and finesse as the meeting’s moderator.
Los Alamos National Security Corporation (LANS) also requested meeting facilitation for several additional meetings relating to pending requests for approval of environmental plans for open detonation of waste high explosive material and for storm water management. These meetings were productive and generally collaborative.
The New Mexico District Court continues to experience a high volume in foreclosure law suites and is using its court-referred foreclosure mediation program actively as a means to reduce formal foreclosures stemming from the economic downturn and the collapse in the real estate market. As a trained mediator for the courts, I continue to manage I high volume of mediations for the program.
Training and consulting for implementing ombudsman programs
I have continued my work with a large professional realty association to assist it in implementing a new ombudsman program. The association sees the ombudsman approach as a great way to improve access to members of the community who have questions or concerns about an interaction with the realtor community. The program is being carefully and comprehensively implemented with ombudsman candidates carefully screened and extensively trained. Full implementation should occur as early as late summer 2011.
Additionally, the New Mexico Governor’s Office has requested information about the potential use of ombuds programs to enhance public access to government. I am working with a small group of colleagues to provide information and possible approaches and options for using the ombudsman approach.
Facilitating strategic planning for non-profits
We recently completed our work to facilitate strategic planning for the Board of Directors for a small, business-oriented non-profit. The resulting product was the production of a living 97-page strategic planning document, which includes specific measures for the next two years, refines the organization’s focus, and produced a new vision for the organization in the process. Many action items that were identified in the plan have already been completed and the organization’s CEO is delighted to have a document with metrics, against which, the organization can demonstrate progress.
As this update is posted, number of new projects are in the works, including new mediation work for a large federal agency client, many court-referred mediations, and developing parameters and plans for launching a collaborative conference to be co-hosted by the Master Mediator Institute and several other scientific and academic organizations as collaborators. Certainly much more will be posted as the project develops!