The following is a list of words that people have questions about.  The definitions are specifically related to the Ombudsman Profession and will be updated periodically as cultural and professional lexicon drives conventional English language dictionary definition.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION – ADR – an informal yet thorough process for mediating and resolving issues, disputes or complaints between two “polarized” individuals or entities that is outside formal organizational administrative or judicial channels.  ADR can be of the legal form or ombudsman form.

CASE – “case” is the short term for “business case” for mediation, not to be confused with legal case.

CONSENSUS – the majority group opinion. A step in the process of “consensus to consent” and the 6 C’s of Ombudsman ADR.

CONSENT – in the Sociocratic model it is the final consensus stage marked “without objection” thus forming “unanimous consent”.

DUE CARE – the care that an ordinarily reasonable and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstance.

DUE PROCESS – the regular administration of the law, according to which no citizen may be denied his or her legal rights and all laws must conform to fundamental, accepted legal principles, as the right of the accused to confront his or her accusers.

INFORMAL – means that the process of investigating, researching and resolving the issue or conflict is outside of the formalities of the organization.  There is no documented, administrative or judicial outcome, as in the case of an HR Office in a corporation, where the outcome can be loss of job, or other permanent consequence.

JURISDICTION – the right power and authority to administer justice.  Power, authority and control.

NEW OMBUDSMAN – this is a “term” I frequently use in my articles and communications to make the distinction between “old” ombuds and the innovative and progressive “new ombudsman” in terms of practices, techniques, methods, independent consulting ombudsman and on-line delivery of services.

NEW OMBUDSPERSON – same as NEW OMBUDSMAN only now used consistently to reflect full “parity” with genders participating in the profession.

POLARIZE – to divide into sharply opposing factions.

ODR or Online Dispute Resolution – the generic and generally accepted term for resolving disputes between any entities utilizing Internet web based technology and applications.

OMBUDSMAN – is a neutral and impartial person who investigates complaints, grievances and conflicts between two polarized entities, groups or individuals with the goal of resolving issues through research, dialogue and advisory engagements.

OMBUDSMANSHIP (not in any dictionary)  the demonstrated knowledge, skill set, personal integrity and ethical practice of the principles of the ombudsman profession.

SOCIOCRACY – is a theoretical system of government where all interests of all people are served equally through the process of consensus to consent

VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS – the measurable impact of costs savings or increased revenue (quantity & quality) linked to introduction of a product or service (variable) versus the removal or holding steady across the business infrastructure and supply chain.  If you are selling a product or service you want to point out points of value in the chain.  If you are managing the internal value chain you want to measure value to the customer.


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