Turning an Unclear Issue into Clear Focus through Option Solving

At a recent client senior team retreat, participants considered a number of key issues challenging their company but then settled on the most important one: management retention.

Through professional facilitation, which is recommended for a group greater than 10, the 17 participants chose the question to lead them in the right direction: “What is our best option for creating a culture of management retention?”

By sub-groups they settled on the two most unlikely “bookends”: 1) Stay with our current model and continue with our current practices; 2) Give everyone everything they desire. Participants didn’t want to entertain either of these options but they created a useful framework for starters. (Find out more about bookends from the book.)

Shortly after, these same sub-groups determined six viable options, three of which were A) Explore best practices outside of our industry, B) Career pathing, C) Find out what is important to managers. None of these included the one they ultimately chose.

The ultimate choice is not important, especially as readers shouldn’t aim to use examples like these as a blueprint for their own issues. Once you read the book about Smart Decisions, you will notice how such options can only match up to a company or individual’s own unique circumstances: and should not be based upon someone else’s intuitive brainwork. However, you can rest assured that this group’s final choice not only put participants’ minds at rest but it also provided them a clear focus going forward.

It will not be a surprise for readers to sense that this company’s management retention will improve dramatically over the next 12 months.


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