Recently, we were asked to help a large professional organization implement a new ombudsman program.  As a part of that project, we worked with the organization to review the range of possible models, and to select the right approach for the organization — given its needs and culture.

An ombudsman program can be a good supplement to an organization or governmental entity, when there are indications that the current systems are not wholly effective in meeting the needs of those customers, employees, or other stakeholders, with issues or concerns.  Today, we start a series of postings about ombudsman programs. Ultimately, we will post an entire new article about ombudsman program options.

Today’s post focuses on …

Why an Ombudsman Program? 

Many organizations today, including large state and federal agencies, colleges and universities, municipalities, and private corporations and professional organizations, are exploring more effective and efficient ways of addressing questions and concerns and resolving disputes within their organizations through the use of an ombudsman program. Often, referred to as an “ombuds,” the concept of an ombudsman originated in Scandinavia and was originally designed to provide a conduit for individuals to voice concerns to their governments.  The concept has expanded dramatically, and now includes a variety of models, depending on the needs of the particular community or organization.

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