Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Innovation!

Happy Halloween! I love Halloween. In fact, costume parties should be mandatory.

But try as I might, I couldn't come up with an appropriately pithy Halloween reference to remind you that building a profitable, robust ADR practice is about innovation. So Happy Innovation, instead.

Innovation is critical to growth. You have to find a way to bring mediation, facilitation, Ombuds, whatever your ADR expertise to people in a new way that meets their requirements or demands.

For too long, I think, ADR providers have said to customers, "We want to help you but we want to do it our way. Here are the three ways we deliver our services: in-person, by phone or online." Frankly, it's not working.

It's time to create new, quantum leap methods to deliver alternative dispute resolution services that compliment the evolving way people are communicating and building relationships these days. (Think email, IMs, texting, online matchmakers, speed dating.)

Do I know what this leap is? No, but I have a few hunches that I plan to try out over the next few months.

Podcasting is so easy to do and compelling, I've begun to develop home study programs around that technology. The idea of bringing the 'just in time' concepts of manufacturing (Think Dell) to mediation really intrigues me, and there's some software available that makes it almost a viable option.

What kind of innovations can you dream up? Even the smallest changes can lead to tremendous results.

Ciao, Dina

PS If you're gonna be in Tewksbury, MA on November 3rd, drop by the New England, ACR regional conference. You're sure to meet some of the great minds of ADR, and yours truly will join Diane Levin and Robert Ambrogi on a panel about blogging! It should be fun. For more information visit the NE-ACR website.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

New Ways of Being

You know by now that I'm a big fan of exploring the different ways to do business and translating the good ideas into a form that's suitable for an ADR practice.

I've been intrigued by the idea of social networking like Linked In and the like. How could I not be attracted to a vehicle that brings people together. Unfortunately, these sites haven't been successful for me in terms of drawing more business or even making good connections. However, they did spawn an idea.

What if a mediator could form their own business network? What if that network functioned both as an informal board of directors for each of the business owners AND also provided a comprehensive solution to the variety of issues that small business owners face? Now, that would be innovation.

Well, along with Judy Polacheck, a Boston-based attorney who specializes in employment and HR issues, I'm giving this idea a whirl. The group will be populated by business colleagues that we respect who have an interest in networking collaboratively. Once we establish this robust group of 9 professionals and really learn about the respective business models and goals--watch out small business! We will be a force to behold. Our goal is to represent a 'one stop shop' to address the different issues that small business - under 500 employee- face at a very reasonable price point.

So, if this idea appeals to you, do it in your town. Find professionals that compliment your mediation or facilitation practice and see what joining forces can do for you.

We spend so much of our time encouraging others to work together, it's high time we as practitioners did just that!

Don't forget to let me know if you hit a home run!

Ciao, Dina

PS Another reminder to opportunistic folks who spam blogs-- DON'T do it here. If your comment isn't relevant to this discussion, it will be deleted and you will be reported as a spammer.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm Back

It's great to be back after a long, unexpected hiatus. My last post was in August right before my fiancé, Peter, had emergency back surgery.

He's fine now, but things were very dodgy for a while. We've devoted the last few months to his recovery and putting the final touches on our destination wedding on Thanksgiving Day. We're so grateful to have so much to celebrate and to give thanks for.

I've discovered some fascinating, new ways to automate your marketing and grasp your niches' attention that I'm eager to share with you.

So, I'm back to share in what I think will become a very exciting time for building an ADR business. And, I hope you come back soon,too.

Ciao, Dina

PS I'd appreciate it if comments were directly related to mediation and related matters. 'Spam like' comments will be deleted at once.