April 16, 2012
Marketing Supplement to Ottawa Business Journal

CanMediate International

Are conflict, toxicity and dysfunction
affecting your ability to make a profit?

CanMediate understands that organizations in distress need
comprehensive, sustainable solutions, not Band-Aids

“Any organization is a complex system that is driven, not by its balance sheet, but by the various relationships that exist between individuals,” said Ruth Sirman, owner of CanMediate International. “Regardless of whether the issue at hand is a personality conflict, a labour dispute or a sales team that is missing its targets, the underlying cause is seldom simple and often symptomatic of system-wide issues in the organization.”

There is no finger-pointing or placement of blame but instead an emphasis on accountability.

Sirman is well acquainted with the links between success, profitability and conflict. As an organizational mediator and consultant she works with senior leadership teams to navigate the complexity they face and understand what is really happening within their organizations.

Sirman takes a confidential, step-by-step approach to understand what is going on behind the scenes in an organization, why, and what steps its people must undertake to arrive at a sustainable solution. There is no finger-pointing or placement of blame but instead an emphasis on accountability.

“When a CEO asks me what is going on, I always say ‘do you want the polite answer or the blunt one?’” she said. “I’ve never encountered a CEO who didn’t want the blunt one.”

Reports on sales, finances, production and staffing are useful but only present part of the picture. Knowledge of what is going on “behind-the- scenes” is critical but can be difficult to obtain. As a manager or senior executive, ask yourself:

  • Who are the “go to” people whose influence may far exceed their position on the org
     chart? Are they onside? Or not?
  • Where are the “disconnects” that are slowing down production and interfering with our team’s ability to achieve the organization’s short and long-term goals and objectives?
  • Where do our operational realities differ from the values that we have posted in the lobby and written into our Orientation Manual?
  • What behaviour is being rewarded – either overtly or covertly?

For two decades Sirman has helped public and private sector organizations, as well as community groups, suffering from some kind of dysfunction engage in the honest dialogue which digs to the root of the issue and gets everyone collaborating on the solution. With her outside perspective, Sirman provides an
unbiased and objective perspective and can speak candidly where others fear to tread.

“When we engage employees and management in constructive conversations on tough topics, we can help groups move past the paralysis that is blocking their ability to succeed and find solid solutions to complex problems,” she said. “Our ability as human beings to solve problems is amazing when we have the right process at the right time with the right focus.”

To download Sirman’s free article “Creating Organizations That WORK!™ and learn more about how CanMediate can help your organization create an environment that attracts and retains top talent, visit www.canmediate.com or call 613-256-3852.


“We were a senior team that struggled to get past some of the conflict within our group. It was even eroding our motivation and initiative. Ruth’s conflict management program helped us learn to work together better as a team, understand that different opinions are good, and that some conflict is OK and can in fact be turned into a positive. Her practical, down-to-earth and humorous approach has really brought us together and helped us to understand ourselves as well as each other. She is especially great at quickly getting to the true heart of an issue.”
— Lillian Dunbar, HR Manager, Times Fiber Canada

PHOTO ABOVE: Ruth Sirman, owner of CanMediate


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