The multiday ADR conference in New York City this spring was full of CLE programs of great interest. Dwight Golann and John Lande, who have come to our joint committee to teach us in Virginia, were seen out and about during the conference as were Geetha Ravindra, Inga Watkins, John Settle and a handful of other Virginia neutrals, including this post’s author, Jeanne Franklin. Pearls of wisdom fell like manna from heaven.
Keynote speaker Francesca Gino spoke about latest lessons from neurobiology research and their possible applications to business, decision-making and dispute resolution. Her newest book is “Sidetracked.” Her research interest is in well-made plans, based on clear goals, but where the outcomes still miss the mark, as she puts it.
What factors throw off decision-making? She states that decisions are derailed by human emotions, the powerful effect of interrelationships and the context in which the plans are to be implemented. She gave example after example of studies demonstrating these factors at work. One study flipped the order of onboarding, the orientation processes used by companies with high employee turnover rates. In the study, employers focused first on the strengths and goals of the new employee or board member before teaching the new people all about the company and their jobs. Ultimately, turnover was lowered and loyalty strengthened. A take-away to ponder is: Be more thoughtful about the decision-making context created to drive different behaviors.
What efforts do you make in the mediation preparation and setting to drive different behaviors?