Does your organisation make it easy for people to "do the right thing"?
Sometimes we need to "restore" our organisations, communities, teams, businesses, clubs, classes, schools...so that people do the right thing and there is less need for restorative justice.
The basic organisational approach is to try to fix every problem as it occurs (if possible). A more comprehensive approach is to respond at the three levels outlined in Problem Solving with Restorative Practices:
Contain - Resolve (& Repair) - Reduce
An even more comprehensive and pro-active approach is to do both the above AND restore the organisation (school, service, team, business...) in which problems arise. But how to do it in in ways that are consistent with Restorative principles? And where to start?
The fundamental principles underpining Restorative approaches include...
- The care and attention we give demonstrates the value we place on matters and things.
- Most of us (attempt to) respond to the value we perceive that others place on matters and things.
- Make expectations explicit- involve everyone in developing expectations
- Make expectations achievable - some people may need assistance
- Show that we care - 'walk the talk'
- Explain why we care - leadership, values, develop emotional intelligence
- Achieve agreement across and throughout the organisation, community...
- Act to reduce the frequency of problems arising - see below
- Fix a problem promptly when it gets broken and involve 'the perpetrator' if possible
- Monitor and celebrate ongoing improvements
- Use alternate responses if the 'window' gets broken repeatedly by the same people
At the organisational level the following steps can "restore" the organisation.
1. Know which problems occur frequently around here
2. Check the available data - does reality match perceptions?
3. Establish priorities for attention, prevention & response
4. Work through the key elements (above) in relation to a priority problem
A frequently occurring problem can lead to an action plan focused on making it easier for everyone to do the right thing. The action plan is properly implemented when it goal happens as a matter of course without intervention, supervision...
Is it really new?
Chances are the above represents the best of what you already do, especially if you are a Restorative Practitioner. Perhaps this framework will enable everyone to be a little more consistent and collaborate a little more easily.
A more detailed discussion is available Broken Windows.