Offering: mediation, conflict management, facilitated meetings, and planning assistance

contact

Jeanne Franklin
phone:
703.684.3550
fax: 703.533.8977
email: jfranklin@franklinsolutions.net

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Franklin Solutions provides assistance to clients, be they individuals, businesses, or groups, by working with them to resolve their specific disputes through mediation, and by helping clients manage conflict so they can move forward productively. Conflict is inevitable; it surfaces in business as well as in so many other areas of human endeavor. Law suits are one form or stage of dispute. Also, dispute can exist more subtly, exerting a corrosive influence upon productivity.

Franklin Solutions helps clients to:  avert or resolve unnecessary conflict; minimize the harmful and costly effects of unresolved conflict by addressing it promptly; harness positive outcomes from substantive disagreement; and, from the clash of ideas and concepts, make new beginnings.

 

news, notes and events

Tuesday
Jun212016

Lessons learned: Dispute resolution is too limiting a term for the work we do 

2015-2016 has been filled with challenging work and stimulating experiences.

These are but a few ideas or themes learned from them:

- The scope and depth of culture shift in the workplace is striking. A number of influences (e.g. younger generations and different communication methods) have converged to produce some significant alterations or alterations -in-progress to workplace structures, expectations of employment rights and responsibilities, perceptions of performance, beliefs about "being wronged and of wrongdoing." Fresh office designs and meeting styles (how structured, how people participate or behave in them) reflect these developments. This means that organizations adapting to shifts in thought while being true to mission and achieving productivity in alignment with mission need leadership that can evolve, while it keeps a wise "hand on the tiller and eye on the stars."    

-  There is a sense of speed and heightened creativity in certain industry and workplaces. Somebody has said that ingenuity shows itself more in times of crisis, for example, that the number of inventions and innovations mushrooms during tough economic times. Consistent with that, it appears that there is more and more scientific study and learning being applied to business decision-making.  For example, rising-star intellectual from Harvard Business School, Professor Francesca Gino, (her latest book is, "Sidetracked,") addressed the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section this April to describe some neuropsychology studies that have been put to use in certain companies. One instance is a company with too-high employee turnover, that restructured its orientation or on-boarding process, in light of certain studies, to focus first on new empoyeee needs and interests before teaching new employees about the company. Changing the work environment in that way has notably improved workforce stability - a result that might seem counter-intuitive.

-The work of facilitators, trained in dispute resolution and conflict management, serves people to come to terms with rapid changes, need for heightened decision-making, responsive leadership, and of course, when diferences of opinion become disputes, grievances, claims. Limiting one's view of a dispute resolver as someone who helps settle already-filed file lawsuits is simply too small a view of the resource. Clients looking for various forms of assistance should explore the ways in which a trained facilitator has experience effectively working with clients in different situations. Labels may be misleading and limiting.

- Next up: ask me about studies concerning the important influence of one's sense of fairness.

     

Thursday
Jul162015

And, A Not-So-Last Point

Please allow me to clarify my July 15 blog post references to healthcare dispute resolution. Lawyers and others experienced with ADR as the arbitration or mediation of filed lawsuits might wonder why I speak of dispute resolution and problem-solving in healthcare as a process and set of skills. The full explanation appears in my two part article that was published on September 16 and 17, 2014, "A Mediator's Perspective - Resolving Disputes in a Post-Health Reform World, Parts I and II." It appeared in the September American Health Lawyers' Practice Group Email Alert (for the ADR Affinity Group, and Health Care Liability and Litigation, and Post-ACute and Long term Services Prcatice Groups).

In it, I explain changed expectations for healthcare providers and consumers under the ACA, the changes in attitudes and behavior they require, and what will help people navigate making those changes. Pointing out skills and processes used to good effect in mediation, I discuss how using such skills and process will also improve the quality of transitions and rebuilding a positive, quality culture in health care. Please contact me if you'd like to see the articles and do not eaily obtain them through AHLA (www.healthlawyers.org).

The two part article updates foundational information explained in an earlier article on health care ADR which is posted on this website under the EADR Solutions menu tab.

I welcome your comments and interest. And now, have a good summer! (Perhaps you might think of these articles as a form of beach reading.)

Wednesday
Jul152015

A Six Point Message

  • ·        Recognizing the need for and value of conflict management in healthcare continues to be an imperative. Health reform has not changed that fact. If anything, the need is greater. The American Bar Association Health Law Section's Conflict Task Force was an active presence at the March 2015 annual meeting called the EMI (Emerging Medical Issues). As part of that presence, I presented a program on ethics for lawyers, along with Jane Conard, on skills that lawyers need, maybe even a paradigm shift, to lead clients ethically and effectively toward awareness and use of resolution, problem-solving skills. The “I’d rather fight than switch” mantra won’t fly in healthcare. Much material from the Virginia legal community where there has been real leadership around the role of lawyers as counselors and problem-solvers was useful and well-received by the ABA health lawyers.
  • ·        The American Health Lawyers Association, which provides alternative dispute resolution, urges mediation and conflict resolution as effective, necessary early interventions to avert a host of legal battles that cost everyone and help few. AHLA offers healthcare facilities an onsite, immersive training designed by me and Jane Conard. Attention to facilitating the resolution of medical staff disputes including peer review matters has been the subject of several excellent programs that Michael Roth and Dr. Leonard Fromer have presented for AHLA and that Jane Conard, Jamie Baskerville-Martin and I presented for the ABA. Mediation or facilitation needs to be carefully set up and well executed to be productive; with that, the promise of satisfying results is great. “We” know that with the recent emphasis on Big Data and evidenced based practice in medicine, there is bound to be friction at times. Medicine is less the science that some would like to think it is. There is an element of art in diagnosis and treatment, the individuality of patients is a critical component in tailoring the treatment, and highly skilled operators, with the best interests of patients in mind, often do disagree on what to do when.
  • ·         Speaking of the last point, a great read is an old book titled, The Making of a Surgeon, by William Nolen. It’s a 45 year old book with a keenly observant perspective that remains relevant. It contains the fast-paced telling of one “unbelievable but true” story after another about how a physician learns to be one. It is common today to speak of the 10,000 hours needed to become proficient at something. That idea is not new.
  • ·        These notes focus on differences arising in healthcare – a world I know well. In fact, the needs for better communication and problem solving arise in many settings, especially in partnerships where people think they share goals and mission and yet begin to chafe working together in the traces of their organizational structure. There should be no shame or hesitation to face the symptoms promptly to figure out what isn’t working and what could be changed. It’s a good business practice.
  • ·        For example, the slew of cases arising in the employment law area make apparent that conflict and dissension in workplaces are common and sadly find their way into the court system. How does anyone get their work done? It seems so wasteful.
  • ·         This June, the Joint ADR Committee of the two Virginia statewide bar associations launched a blog – first ever for these associations - called “All Things ADR.” We are starting cautiously but intently to put quality materials out there to enrich Virginia lawyers’ problem solving-negotiation practices. The materials now posted are available to the public at www.vba.org/allthingsadr. Please check it out. We will add something about every 2 weeks.
  • ·        I shall have to stop apologizing for the posts here being so occasional.  I have been busy, enjoying it, and don’t anticipate that changing soon. Please get in touch with your problem-resolution needs.  I wish you an enjoyable summer.