Last time I wrote about the concept of the ombuds (or ombudsman or ombudsperson.) Traditionally, the ombuds serves as an all-around dispute resolution specialist in an organization: corporate (whether for-profit or not-for-profit), academic, or government agency.
One of the great advantages of mediation and related approaches to voluntary conflict resolution is their flexibility. Because the parties involved control their own process, they can create a process that custom fits their needs. Some have considered applying that idea to the obmuds concept, and using a type of consultant ombuds. That person could assist with disputes within an organization on an as-needed basis, but could also have a broader role than an outside employee assistance program might have. This approach could be especially effective for conflicts among high-level employees of an organization whose disputes might not be easily addressed within a human resources department.