Dave Alexander, a principal in Lincoln Strategies, LLC (www.LincStrat.com), advises professional services firms on marketing and management matters related to the federal government market. He is the author of Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts (2002: ZweigWhite). Mr. Alexander can be reached at 413-498-4544; da@LincStrat.com.
In an uncertain economy, the federal government can be a reliable business partner and source of revenue for ADR service organizations. Federal agencies contract for dispute resolution and facilitation services for many purposes, such as to develop regulations, settle complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal workplace grievances, resolve conflicts over federal water rights or other issues, help other nations develop a civil infrastructure, and train staff in ADR processes and facilitation techniques. There is strong demand for firms with expertise in ADR, conflict avoidance and consensus building. In some cases the demand is spurred by executive action and federal law. For example, in the 1990s, two executive orders were signed by the president encouraging the use of ADR. Then, in 1996, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) was enacted.