A Note from Chuck: Request for Ombud Stories

IOA Executive Director, Chuck Howard, Wants to Share Ombuds' Stories

Submit Your Story by 31 August 2020

I have exciting news—I am writing a new book! It is a follow-up to my original, The Organizational Ombudsman. My new book will take an even deeper dive into how ombuds work and will feature real examples of the types of issues ombuds encounter every day.

To help complete the book and educate ombuds and non-ombuds alike, I am asking for your help in sharing ombuds stories.

Please reach out to me to share your story. You can fill out this Google Form or email my private inbox at [email protected].

To protect privacy and confidentiality, I will publish only redacted anecdotes. The book will not reveal the name of your organization, your identity, or the identity of any parties involved. This will be a library of credible stories that show how ombuds make a difference in the lives of people and organizations.

Submit Today

Read Chuck's Full Letter Below

Full Letter from Chuck Howard

Dear IOA community members,

I am writing a new book on ombuds that the American Bar Association has agreed to publish to raise awareness of the profession and demonstrate the value of organizational ombuds. The final draft needs to be sent to the ABA by the first of January 2021, and I cannot do this by myself—I need the help of IOA members (you) in two ways:

  1. The first part of the book will be an effort to respond to the hardest questions about what organizational ombuds are and do from organization leaders, general counsel, formal channels, and other skeptics. I have my own list of what I think these questions are, but I would love to hear from you with questions that they think I need to address, along with any responses you have found effective.

  2. The heart of the book will be stories or examples of how ombuds have dealt with a multitude of issues or problems, and how they have helped resolve or surface issues to help their visitors and the organization. All of the examples have to be real, not composite or hypothetical, so I cannot make them up—I need to get them from you. And, I need a lot of them, hundreds of them! I want to cover all types of issues in all sectors. There is no limit on the number of examples you can send. The more the merrier.

I need your help to write a book that I believe will be a great help to you and all organizational ombuds as an information and training resource and as a marketing tool.

Timing is also important. I hope to write much of the book over the summer, so if you could please send any questions I need to address and as many examples as you can during June and July, it will help me to get a good start on the book before life gets busy again after Labor Day.

To assist you, here is a draft of the Guidance Questions that I plan to use to introduce the Actual Ombuds Examples section of the book. I have also added a draft of the Categories of Examples to help prompt your thinking on the types of examples you could send to me. 

I think a useful template for preparing an example would be to write it to respond to the following questions. You can also consider the Guidance Questions in the attachment as you write an example. What I am looking for is two or three paragraphs that address:

  • Why the visitor came to the ombuds instead of another resource?
  • What was the nature of the visitor's issue and why it was hard, tricky, or of concern to the visitor?
  • How did the ombuds develop options for the visitor to consider and in what other ways did the ombuds help the visitor resolve or surface the issue?
  • How did this benefit the visitor and/or the organization?

I have also included a compilation of examples I have taken from the 2010 book I wrote. I will be trying to use a similar format for the examples for this book. Hopefully, this will give you a sense of what I am looking for.

And finally, you can send your questions and examples to me at either my IOA email or my personal email, which I have provided below. I have included my personal email so that you will have a confidential way to send them to me if you would prefer. I will not be disclosing who sent me what examples and all of the examples should be written so that they do not disclose identifying information that would reveal your institution or name your visitors. If you have any questions about what I am looking for, please give me a call. 

Thanks for your assistance,

Chuck Howard
Executive Director of IOA
[email protected]
[email protected]
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