Doing More with Less: using Option Solving

 In talking with a recent not-for-profit-group, it was grappling with a similar issue to so many non-profits (and businesses) these days, ‘Trying to do more with less.’ Its team was anxious to figure this out because it had already cut much to the bone and yet it still had a big task within its community.

It got as many of its people together as possible and set to work. Its first task was to frame the right question starting with: “What is our best approach to ‘Doing more with less,’ considering… The group drew up a list of considerations and then quickly narrowed them down to three of particular importance, namely … considering increasing volunteer support (office and board), unable to add more staff, and still increasing revenue each year to accommodate needs and mandates?” These considerations, as part of any Option Solving question, are most important, since they focus our intuitive mind on important issues (both positive and less positive) that need to be factored into any final choices.

Once this was done, then the group focused on the ‘Bookends”: see Latest Example. Again, these bookends sharpened their realization of the least likely options, but, at the same time, got their intuitive minds working creatively on their most promising option choices. You can also see some of the eight alternatives they developed, from which, by means of an independent ballot, they narrowed down to the most likely option for their purposes at that moment in time.

As a result, two key things happened. Firstly, the exercise put their minds at ease because they felt their “collective wisdom” had produced the right choice. Secondly, they were all committed to get involved and make this option work. This is the one thing that is most often missing with traditional problem solving: people are not that committed because the solution is usually the brainchild of one person and everyone else either likes it or goes along with it. With Option Solving everyone participates and is more likely to go along with the outcome because their voice was heard through the independent ballot.

Please refer to the Latest Example to some of the outcome. If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area. 

Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide ‘Where do we go next?’.”  Make your COMMENTS or go to peter to connect with the blogger.)


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