Federal workplace conflict management desk reference: a compilation of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Processes, Partners and Resources October 2013
Interagency Working Group, Conflict Management Section
This is ADR gold, particularly in the months following the discouraging closure of NADRAC. Before your hopes canter, I will point out that the term ‘Federal’ in the title refers to the Federated States of the United States of America. It could however refer to any federation, real or fictitious. The authors have produced a Desk Reference that epitomises the principles of ADR. It is inclusive, person centred, peer oriented and much more. It is intended to ‘give people working in this area a common understanding of the variety of [ADR] processes and approaches… and to ‘broaden the context within which they [ADR] are used.
There are four sections. Section I describes 17 distinct ADR processes under headings which cover who, what, when, where, how, why and much more including possible concerns about each approach. The information in Section I is universal, highly accessible and down-to-earth. Section II considers partnering opportunities which complement the aims and objectives of ADR processes and agencies. It is conspicuously USA oriented. The focus of this section on the USA provides scope for the Australasian imagination to consider what may be possible. In the literal sense of the word, Section III returns to the universal: using technology in dispute resolution. Section IV provides a short list of resources the breadth and depth of which again convey the theme of universality. There are resources on topics as far ranging climate assessment, communities of practice and appreciative enquiry. Section V is just one page that demonstrates the suitability for and the versatility of the processes described in Section I.
What is often said about committees and writing refers to a metaphor of camels and horses. This desk reference has been written by a committee that could have designed a camel if they’d set out to or a horse if that had been their aim. We in the ADR field are fortunate that they set out to write the Federal workplace conflict management desk reference: a compilation of Alternative Dispute Solution (ADR) Processes, Partners and Resources. They have written a document that has seamlessly integrated the strengths of each of the contributors to produce an elegant camel and a resilient horse.
I intend this to be the first in a series of quick comments on the items in my blogroll.