Welcome to Option Solving (for dealing with your Decision Dilemmas) -also see latest examples below;and many more.

 See above, “What is our best option choice to optimize Receivables, without switching our company from an ‘outside-in’ to an ‘inside-out’ mode?”  At our next blog in two weeks, we will deal with: “What is our best option for bringing fresh people talent up to speed?”  Also, go to http://www.youtube.com and type in Option Solving and go for the 1 min 48 sec version: this will refer you to OSOLing (Option Solving On-line: a virtual way to deal with your Dilemmas)READ ABOUT THE INTERESTING, WIDE-RANGING APPLICATIONS BELOW: including the latest blog. Go to SUBSCRIBE email-to your left, if you want regular notification of blog updates.

Read the book, Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options. And visit the author’s main website at www.ileadershipsolutions.com

Peter Arthur-Smith, Originator of Option Solving

Peter Arthur-Smith, Originator of Option Solving

Daniel H. Pink, author of business best seller “A Whole New Mind”, with new book “Drive” says, “Peter Arthur-Smith has produced a savvy and practical book that will change how you approach the challenges in your business. By showing you the limits of ‘problem-solving’ and the power of whole-minded thinking. SMART DECISIONS will expand your strategies and widen your possibilities.”

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What is our best option to optimize our Receivables, without switching our company from an ‘outside-in’ to an ‘inside-out’ mode: using Option Solving?

Something probably every growing organization experiences at some point is a crunch moment in their cash flow and receivables. Now they have to figure out how they will deal with this crunch and try and prevent it from happening again. Fortunately their forecast in revenues is strong owing to their growth picture; it’s just a question of getting it onto the balance sheet. It means a lot of belt-tightening, good bank relations, and some clever cash management during the meantime. Your editor was witness to a recent client situation.

Before jumping into any advice, your writer decided to go through the option solving exercise to see if any new bright ideas would emerge. He posed the following question: “What is our best option for optimizing Receivables w/o switching company culture from an ‘outside-in’ to  an ‘inside-out’ mode ; considering 1) our inadequate Receivables are inhibiting expansion efforts, 2) we don’t have an adequate Receivables strategy, 3) there is insufficient Receivable awareness within our company, and 4) we are excited about our growth prospects?” He restricted himself to these top four considerations, despite several others, so as not to further complicate any final conclusion.

Having now put this question in place, he then created two yin and yang “bookends” as outlier possibilities, since they would help focus his intuitive, decision-making mind on his client’s most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

These turned out to be: “Do our best without overly bothering our clients” and “Provide a lot of incentives to improve”: both of which were his least likely options for the reasons given. Even so, these bookends would challenge his client to consider and produce their most realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

Now he had the challenge of creating at least five reasonable options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities as much as possible. Since he intended to share this with his client, he left a sixth option (F) open so as to give them an opportunity to make their own suggestion(s). Such an activity would help build their “buy-in” and commitment. His favored option, off the bat, was: “Option- C: 3 month emergency Receivable program – w/positive reinforcement… then?”

With this “pictogram” now in place, he would now be able to share it with his client and get their participation and buy-in. Then they could set some time aside for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Whatever that choice, they could then decide to further “Peel the Onion,” in order to give them additional sub-insights on how to move forward, or create an immediate action initiative while everything was still fresh in their minds.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is our best option for bringing fresh talent up to speed?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

Peeling the Onion: What is my best approach for developing an internal-extended sales team: Option B – Contact each Region Leader (RL) to determine what is best prospect for Pilot Effort: using Option Solving?

From our example two weeks ago, the client decided he would go for option B as indicated above, through the Peeling the Onion approach.  This would require him to enlist the voluntary support of one of his Regional Leaders (RLs) to take a pilot approach.

His natural, lead-in question, to figure out his best sub-option, came through as follows: “Option B – Contact each RL to determine which is best prospect for Pilot Effort; considering 1) need to outline Pilot effort, 2) will need good existing rapport with RLs, 3) will need full support of VP Operations, and 4) will need to prepare RLs for ‘if not chosen’?” He restricted himself to these top four considerations, despite several others, so as not to further complicate his final decision.

With this question now ready, he then produced two yin and yang “bookends” as outlier possibilities, since they would help focus his intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

These turned out to be: “Just pick RL and then go-for-it” and “Offer big financial carrot to lucky RL volunteer”: both of which were his least likely sub-possibilities for the reasons given. Even so, these bookends would challenge him to consider and produce his most realistic sub-options – see our Latest Worked Example.

He was then challenged to produce at least five realistic sub-options, so as to stretch his range of sub-possibilities as much as possible. Since he intended to share this with his President, he left a sixth sub-option open so as to give her an opportunity to make a suggestion. Such an activity would help build her “buy-in” and commitment. His favored option, off the bat, was: “Option- BB: Put together creative presentation for all RLs –let them nominate volunteer region.”

With this “sub-pictogram” now in place, he would be able to review it with his President and get her participation and buy-in. Then they could set some time aside for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Whatever that choice, they could then decide to further “Peel the Onion,” in order to give them additional sub-sub-insights on how to move forward.

Alternatively, he could decide to put together an optimum action initiative based upon his initial option choice and now his sub-option choice. What option would you have chosen?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is our best option choice to optimize Receivables, without switching our company from an ‘outside-in’ to an ‘inside-out mode?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

What is my best approach for developing an internal-extended sales team: using Option Solving?

At a recent client meeting, we were reviewing his strategy toward meeting his team’s sales objectives for the year.  Apart from building and motivating his own sales and marketing teams, he realized he had to tap into an internal, built in salesforce of regional leaders and customer advocates. He was then left to figure out his best option for doing that.

As he was familiar with the option solving format, we immediately started discussing the rationale for doing this, as well as thinking about the possibilities available. His natural, lead-in question came out as follows: “What is my optimum approach to win-over Regional Leaders and Customer Advocates as my internal-extended sales team; considering 1) cannot afford additional F/T salespeople at this time, 2) RLs and CAs have lots of client contact, 3) challenges in making referrals a priority, and 4) our company has a great market reputation?” He restricted himself to his top four considerations, even though there were several others, so as not to further complicate his final resolution.

With his question ready, he then set to work on two yin and yang “bookends” as outlier possibilities, as they would help focus his intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

He then created bookends which turned out to be: “Send out regular notes requesting their assist” and “Good will party every month to catch RL & CA attention”: both of which were his least likely possibilities for the reasons given. Even so, these bookends would challenge him to consider and produce his most realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

We then challenged him to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities as much as possible.  Feel free to review what turned out to be his six proposed options in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option- F: Get CEO to meet with self and Regional Leaders to negotiate an optimum approach.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, he would be able to review, adjust or add to it over next few hours, while things were still fresh. He would then set aside some time for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Even after that choice, he could then decide to proceed with “Peeling the Onion,” in order to give him additional insights on how to move forward.

In fact, the latter was what he decided to do, so we will review that part of this exercise in a couple of weeks. What option would you have chosen?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “Peeling the Onion: What is my best approach for developing an internal-extended sales team?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

What is my optimum way for dealing with a colleague bad apple: using Option Solving?

It was a particularly painful conversation to listen to a friend talking about a work colleague who was constantly seeming to sabotage his team’s efforts. He was considerably emotional and annoyed at this person’s behavior. Your writer then suggested that he use the option solving format to draw upon an objective and optimum approach.

Since he was familiar with the format, he immediately set his rational faculties to work for drawing-up an appropriate question, to set his considerable innate abilities to work. His question turned out as follows: “What’s my best option for dealing with a colleague bad apple; considering 1) person has established themselves as indispensable, 2) (s)he has manager’s support, 3) (s)he keeps being disruptive with my group, and 4) my own people impatience doesn’t help?” He restricted himself to his top four considerations, even though there were several others, so as not to further complicate his final conclusion.

Now that his question was ready, he then set to work on two yin and yang “bookends” as extreme possibilities, so they would further focus his intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

Bookends for this step turned out to be: “Let sleeping dogs lie” and “Just leave and go work somewhere else”: both of which were his least likely possibilities for the reasons given. But at least they would nudge him to consider and produce his most realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

He was then challenged to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities as much as possible. In fact, we left open a sixth option, too, for him to mull over, in case he revealed another option within the next couple of hours. Feel free to review his five-six proposed options in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option- B: Set-up meeting with our mutual boss to hear both sides.”

With his new, provisional “pictogram” now in place, he would be able to review, adjust or add to it over next few hours, while things were still fresh. He would then be persuaded to set aside some time for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning.

Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder his five-six options and draw upon his many diverse experiences and choices; thereby arriving at an optimal decision. What option would you have chosen?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is my best approach for developing an internal-extended sales team?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

What could be XYZ’s optimum initial option during talks with potential business collaborators: using Option Solving?

Talking with another consultant-company advisor the other day, your editor found her considering options for moving her business activities forward. She had been talking with several prospective partners-collaborators and wasn’t sure which way to go. Your editor then introduced her to option solving and its merits caught her attention.

From there, we set about framing an appropriate rational question, to catch the attention of her intuitive mind, which came out as follows: “What could be XYZ’s optimum initial option during talks with potential business collaborators; considering 1) am working with a steady group of clients, 2) a 2019 focus on book writing, 3) revamp of our Website, and 4) find complementary partner(s) to move venture forward?” We contained ourselves to only using the top four considerations, even though there were several others, so as not to further complicate her final decision.

With this question now in place, she then needed two yin and yang “bookends” as extreme possibilities, so they would further focus her intuitive, decision-making mind on her most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

The bookends she determined for this step were: “Haphazard, opportunist way forward” and “Give away XYZ’s valuable assets – withdraw from the market-place”: both of which were her least likely possibilities for the reasons given. But at least they would nudge her to consider and produce her most realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

Then we aimed to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch her range of possibilities as much as possible. In fact, we left open a sixth option, too, for her to mull over, in case she revealed another option within the next couple of hours. Feel free to review her five-six proposed options in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option- A: Seek loose collaboration with likely business ‘partner’.”

With this new, provisional “pictogram” now in place, she would be able to review, adjust or add to it over next few hours, while things were still fresh. We would then encourage her to set aside some time for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning.

Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review her five-six options and benefit from her many diverse experiences and choices; thereby arriving at an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is my optimum way of dealing with a bad apple?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)

Peel the Onion – What optimum sales strategy should VP Sales pursue during 2019: using Option Solving?

With our mid-December blog we produced a potential option solving pictogram for a VP Sales who was considering his 2019 sales strategy. As a way of stimulating the process, your editor took this exercise one step further and chose Option EUse a client top down strategy – Self and Co-Presidents  –  to make hi-level entrée then hand over to second-tier marketers to follow-through and consummate.  Your editor has now taken a stab at peeling this onion and seeing what sub-options might be available to his company by pursuing this choice.

We immediately created a new Option E rational question to start the ball rolling. It looked something like this: “Peeling the Onion: What is optimum VP Sales strategy during 2019: Option E- Use a top-down sales strategy for targeted prospects; considering 1) need for compelling top-level security message, 2) requires an executive-level seller, 3) must have competent second-tier sellers to leverage opportunities, and 4) requires effective long-range strategy?” We stuck with only using the top four considerations, even though there were several others, so as not to further complicate any final decisions.

Our question in place, then required two yin and yang “bookends” as extreme possibilities, so they would further focus the VP Sales’ intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic sub-options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware at how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless effectively focused.   

The sub-bookends we proposed for this step were: “Wait for invitations to top-level meetings” and “Special invitation dinners at top clubs w/top industry experts”: both of which were again the least likely possibilities for the reasons given. But at least they would nudge the VP Sales’ mind to consider his most realistic sub-options – see our Latest Worked Example.

Then we aimed to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities as much as possible. In fact, we found a sixth option, too, for his intuition to mull over. Feel free to review our six proposed options in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-FF: Special topic, high profile speaker dinner- round tables w/ prospects and clients.”

With this new “pictogram” now in place, the VP Sales would be able to review and adjust it. We would then encourage him to set aside some time for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making any choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning.

Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously review these six options and benefit from his many similar life experiences and choices; thereby arriving at an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Once he made his decision, preferably with his principals involved, then he could either decide on another round of Peeling the Onion, sub-sub-options, for further tactical clarity; OR move ahead with creating an action initiative for FF or any other choice, while everything was fresh. Once he has put this in place, he should not change his mind and press on toward success.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “Looking for Partner or Collaborator?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)