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'The Management Edge

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Partnering

From its inception 19 years ago, The Management Edge® (TME) has focused on collaborative work processes – the use of collaboration rather than competition or contention to achieve organizational goals most creatively, efficiently, and effectively. Collaborative work process is the underpinning of all effective team building processes. Multi-organizational Partnering is a specific form of team building adapted for use in the DOD IRP Program.

Partnering as a management concept involves using a variety of tools and techniques for building strong relationships and trust between the involved parties so that they are able to identify and achieve shared goals that would be difficult or impossible to achieve in a traditional adversarial or competitive environment. Participants in Partnering programs typically receive training in awareness of self and others, and in effective interpersonal and group problem solving skills; all aimed at improving their abilities to recognize and transcend personal and organizational biases. The Installation Restoration Program (IRP) Facilitated Partnering process as practiced by the U.S. Air Force and The Management Edge, Inc. expands on this by adding goal setting, action planning, conflict management, and effective meeting management training, so that Teams are more able to sustain their collaborative efforts over time, in the face of controversy, and through inevitable changes in Team membership. The IRP model involves a formal management and procedural structure, plus active facilitation and ongoing, real time training interventions as further means of maintaining and reinforcing Team effectiveness.

The Management Edge® approach to team building has been adopted as the standard approach toward Partnering in most of the Environmental Restoration field. It has been highly efficient and highly successful in moving teams through the progressive stages of team development to the "performing" and "high performing" levels, and in maintaining their performance at these high levels. The results, costs saved, costs avoided, time to completion shortened, and problems resolved informally, have been consistently documented by the teams, their management and at the Pentagon level, by all branches of DoD.

For example, our work for the Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Reservation in the state of Washington, directly resulted in more than $240 million in documented savings in just four months, and indirectly led to ongoing savings through a complete change in the remediation standards and assumptions applied throughout the site.

Our experience in building successful high performing Partnering teams is second to none. Since 1993, the beginning of Environmental Partnering, we have built almost 100 teams, consistently facilitating some teams as long as 10 years, with the same facilitator.

TME has built a strong reputation on its ability to productively build and facilitate difficult groups and issues. TME uses skilled facilitators, plus training in group dynamics, personality preference, active listening, and effective meeting management to reduce interpersonal conflict and enhance collaborative decision-making.

Partnering is a recognized form of ADR, as is mediation. TME has several consultants who are certified mediators; all have had extensive training in conflict resolution and partnering.


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