Handling Corporate’s need for Business Information:Solved using Option Solving!

Not so long ago I was working with a business leader whose business had recently been acquired by a client of mine. We spent an interesting day together talking about his plans for the future, relative to the expectations of his new owners. One of the issues that emerged was how he felt impeded from devoting his full attention to business growth due the amount of time he had to give in providing financial information to corporate.

This created a dilemma for him: the need to continue growing his business offset by his new owner’s appetite for financial detail. Part of his beef was that with his own prior business entity he had a simple QuickBooks approach. Now with the corporate accounting system, things had become a whole lot more complicated. Who couldn’t help but commiserate with him?!

So, instead of feeling sorry for himself, I encouraged him to look at his options. We focused on formulating an appropriate question (see book and latest example), which included considerations such as: desire to focus on business growth issues, limited staff resources, Corporate’s appetite for certain information, and maximizing my time available.

Once these were in place, he fairly readily identified his two “bookends:” those extreme options which help to challenge his intuitive creativity, as well as frame the issue. These turned out to be: Ignore them and at the other end Turn Over Running my Business to them (see Latest Example).  Neither of these were acceptable options.

He then set about coming up with six appropriate, alternative options (see Latest Example). I then turned over the sheet and allowed for some unrelated discussion to occur for about ten minutes to permit “emotional distancing.” After this, he easily chose what made the most sense, based upon his intuition and without any studied analysis. He was happy with the outcome and will now aim to implement his decision which will require a little negotiating.

One of the potential drawbacks for new potential “Option Solvers” is how easily the optimum solution emerges when the technique is properly applied: almost to the point of making them suspicious. This is because users are activating their powerful intuitions, versus their less powerful rational minds. With that enormous decision making power at work, no wonder the solutions emerge so easily!

Please refer to the Latest Example to access the overall picture. 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 on ‘Getting My Office Manager on the Same Page?’”  You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Production Scheduling: Solved using Option Solving!

 

Recently I was working with a production manager who was pretty new to his company and its challenging, high growth production assignment. Unlike a lot of production oriented companies during today’s recession, the company’s production requirements were growing rapidly: which means plenty of overtime on the shop floor. One of his important priorities is to get a handle on its production flow and material needs to be able to keep important customers happy with delivery times.

He was faced with considerations such as getting the right level of detail, getting everyone on board, keeping the budget realistic, and not letting everyone involved  become bogged down in system implementation. With this in mind, he created a question similar to the one shown in the Latest Example.

Once the question was in place, his more extreme “bookends” fell into place fairly easily: “Remain with the current ad hoc manual approach” or at the other end “Set-up a Fully Integrated MRP system.” With these in place, he was able to come up with a healthy series of five options for consideration by himself and his senior colleagues: some of which are in the latest example.

With these complete, we set our picture aside for 10-15 minutes to create some emotional distancing. Our other conversation over, we returned to his option picture, where I challenged him to use his intuitive experience to pick the option which best answered his question. He was quite content with his intuitive answer: so his issue was solved!

He, like many other option solving participants, was quite surprised at how quickly his issue was solved.  Perhaps he was a little disappointed that it wasn’t more of a struggle. Perhaps there was a “trick” to make it turn out so easily? Not so. By using the power of his intuitive mind, it made the resolution of his issue so much simpler!    

 

Please refer to the Latest Example to access the overall picture. 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 on ‘Handling Corporate’s Need for Business Information?’”  You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)