At the beginning of 2015, Australia’s two major organisations focused on delivering ADR services merged. LEDAR was the larger of the two with a strong emphasis on mediation and conciliation. IAMA (Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia) was the older body with a history based in Arbitration and Expert Determination, more recently expanded to include Adjudication and Mediation.
Merger talks had occupied the latter part of 2014, culminating in a large majority of the members of both organisations approving the merger which was formalised by the merger and then the hard work of integration began…… A ‘working name’ of LEADR&IAMA was adopted for the merged entity until a process to define a new brand image for the organisation could be worked through.
As readers of this blog will now one of our major themes is stakeholder engagement, change management and communication. I must say, for an organisation that largely consists of lawyers, augments with engineers, builders and assorted mediators from many disciplines the path to a new name and brand image has been remarkably well managed.
For any organisation, its name and logo are cornerstones of presenting professionally and connecting business, government and the broader community with its members. Dispute resolution through any of the options offered by the merged entity is no different. But rather than jumping to a ‘name’, the board took its members on a journey to find a name that will enable the organisation to promote excellence in dispute resolution and provide an identity for members, the organisation and current and future clients. Professional help was engaged from Uberbrand to help on the journey.
The Board began by brainstorming and collecting 34 different potential names, some contributed by members (including a couple from me). When reviewed, the 34 names varied in their relevance, their effectiveness in conveying the function and purpose of the organisation and their potential appeal to members, the public and allow an appropriate domain name (URL) to be registered.
The next step was a survey of the joint membership looking at opportunities, values and services and growth opportunities. The survey encouraged involvement in the process as well as helping derive a consensus.
From all of this input, the Board members distilled core features of the organisation as follows:
- Have extraordinary depth and range of experience and expertise
- Work across the full suite of dispute resolution types
- Have reputation, influence and status
- Are highly professional
- We champion the practice of dispute resolution
- We support members
- We promote excellence in dispute resolution
- Through our members, we provide people with the means to resolve disputes
- For people to think of the members of our organisation
- For resolution to be embedded in the way that people settle disputes, manage conflicts, make decisions and grow collaborative relationships
From all of this the new name and logo emerged:
The name Resolution Institute was chosen for the following reasons:
- the name as a whole, focuses current and future users of dispute resolution to think highly of our members, and conveys the gravitas of both resolution and of the people, our members, who practise dispute resolution
- it contributes to ‘resolution’ being fundamental to the way people settle disputes, manage conflicts, make decisions and grow collaborative relationships
- the word “institute” encompasses different features of the organisation. Its meanings include, an organisation that is established to promote a cause and also that delivers educational programs. The Board noticed that it is also sometimes used by not-for-profit organisations which have a membership base. In addition, the word “institute” connotes gravitas. For these reasons, the Board chose this word, rather than others such as “association”, “society” or “council”.
The logo was chosen as it represents coming to a resolution from different starting points. The arcs, as parts of a circle, suggest inclusiveness and belonging. As well as resonating with our values:
- the pattern of woven lines reflects collaboration
- the colours represent diversity
- the modern, forward movement conveys innovation
- the clean crisp lines align with integrity, and
- the blend of colours on a clear white background suggest excellence.
The dinner to celebrate IAMA’s 40th anniversary in a couple of weeks time will be an interesting transition celebrating 40 years of history (for me 30 years of membership), the passing of IAMA and the opening up of a new and interesting future in the development of ADR in Australia. There’s certainly a new and distinctive ‘brand’ in the marketplace.
The re-branding work has a way to go, contact details: