What are the characteristics of a good course of action?

Elements of a Good Course of Action

Best Practices in Making Recommendations

2/8/12 2:40 PM

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One of the final steps of the multidisciplinary approach to problem solving is to arrive at a course of action, including a set of specific recommendations that will address the identified problem and move the individual, group, agency, community, or society, toward positive change. In addition, as a leader, you will be called upon to communicate recommendations and to lead a group through the course of action. What do Public Service leaders need to understand about this important component of the change process?

· What are the characteristics of a good course of action?

· With regard to the recommendation process, what types of information should and should not be included?

· What does the research say regarding best practices?

RE: Best Practices in Making Recommendations

8/16/12 6:39 PM as a reply to Melissa Binns.

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Greetings Milissa! One concurs with your sentiments in that many participants do enter the collaboration process not knowing what to expect, or even how to collaborate, and as such, the best way to manage this is to have explicit (rather than implicit) goals and a structure for the group in its proceedings. Hence the reason, it is one’s belief that the team leader should be an individual who understands the notion of, according to Malhi and colleagues (2009), the Care model, i.e. possessing an in-depth knowledge of: 1) continuing collaborative partnership, 2) rules which governs alliance an adherence to treatment, 3) customer service, e.g. relationship with clients, as well as, their families, and 4) client education and identification of warning signs. Moreover, in addition to understanding the above mentioned concepts, this leader should also possess assessment skills, in that, she/he must be able to 1) consider risk to others, which includes risk to children or other family members, 2) evaluate situation, e.g. giving consideration to social, occupational and cognitive functioning, 3) determine necessary treatment, or have some knowledge of it, e.g. if treated in the community, consulting with family ¿ carer to assist in taking steps to minimize risks and document these measures in a risk plan, and 4) exhibit degree of medical knowledge, in that, some medications can have significant adverse effects and require ongoing medical monitoring, thus, as the leader of the patient care team, being able to recognize changes in the client’s body/behavior is crucial. Thus, one would recommend that when selecting, electing or appointing team leaders, one should be mindful of the responsibilities that are characteristic of this position, taking into active thought that it is the obligation of the team’s leader to guide its members towards a solution which is based on best practices, as well as, the most ethical principles. Reference: Malhi, G. S., Adams, D. D., Lampe, L. L., Paton, M. M., O’Connor, N. N., Newton, L. A., & … Berk, M. M. (2009). Clinical practice recommendations for bipolar disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 11927-46. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01383.x Nubia Roberts

+2 (2 Votes)


Nubia, The enumerated steps are very enlightening and one cannot agree more with the contents of this post. The process of selecting members of the collaborating team is a very crucial one as you highlighted and this could very well determine the success or otherwise of the entire process and outcomes thereof. Laura Bronstein (2003) in prescribing a model for interdisciplinary collaboration between social workers and other professionals recommended highlighted the following five key components: ¿ Interdependence- which emphasizes teamwork. Here, there is the merging of expertise from different disciplines to achieve a common goal; ¿ Newly created professional activities-which refer to the creation of new processes which allow each professional achieve more within the collaborative effort than would have been achievable if the professionals were working independently, and helps evolve enduring structures; ¿ Flexibility- which refers to the deliberate blurring of roles that allows for constructive compromise that enhances team spirit and efficiency; ¿ Collective ownership of goals- which emphasizes shared responsibility in the process among the collaborating professionals; and ¿ Reflection on process- which refers to collaborators¿ continuous reference and commitment to the collaborative effort which goes on to enhance information sharing and feedback which strengthens the relationship Teamwork helps the professionals to merge their respective expertise to maximize creativity and also helps each professional to concentrate in their respective areas of expertise thereby improving the overall outcomes. The spirit of reciprocity and interdependence creates greater efficiency for the team and each individual. Reference: Bronstein, L.R. (2003). A model for interdisciplinary collaboration. Social Work. 48(3): 297-306

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