Forming the right collaborative relationship with another group:by means of Option Solving!

 

Not so long ago I was in the company of a senior academic executive. As a relative newcomer, he was trying to make his mark and one of the things he was conscious of was the need to improve collaboration with his academic affairs group, which had become strained over the years.

We quickly got around to framing a suitable question to inspire his intuitive, creative juices to move into high gear. As you will see in the Latest Example: we started with the words; “What is my best option for forming a really collaborative relationship with academic affairs, considering…” We then looked at some considerations and decided to focus on: “…the need to overcome a historical divide, the feeling of Student Affairs  being viewed as a ‘step-child’, to gain allies for various future programs, and firming-up the realization that education occurs both outside (as well as inside) the classroom?”

 

With this in place, we could now start digging into finding the best ‘bookends’ (extreme options) to further frame and prod his intuitive mind to develop the ultimate best range of options. The bookends (the Ying and the Yang) which emerged were: “Sit on the situation as is” and “Set up shop in the same offices as academic affairs.” Now these were in place, he was able to come up with likely options, some of which you will see in the latest example. Again, we’ve limited these because it’s unreal to expose others to options that they cannot judge one way or the other, since they were not in my client’s spot.

In this executive’s case, once we had worked through the option solving scenario, I encouraged him to use it as an outline “cheat sheet” where he could go through the same exercise with his nine key leaders as a team exercise. The added advantage, by doing it with his team, is that he can get nine independent votes from a confidential poll. Out will come the “wisdom of his crowd,” which will be much wiser than any decision he takes on his own. He will also gain the “buy-in” of his team, too. What more can you ask?

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a recent solution. 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 ‘Our options for eliminating the budget deficit?’”  You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Making the Most of My New Year’s Resolution: by means of Option Solving!

Two weeks ago a lot of people were either in the process of making or had already made a New Year’s Resolution. It is well known that few New Year’s Resolutions neither make it very far nor, even if they do, are not acted upon especially diligently. Maybe you’ve already abandoned yours; maybe you’re at the half-hearted stage.

One of the reasons for such paucity in success is because people are really not emotionally committed to their intentions. This is where option solving comes in because, if the technique is used properly, users are emotionally committed to its choices. By tapping into ones intuitive mind, we are more likely to connect with the emotional side of our decision making and therefore our level of commitment increases.

To this end, anyone making a New Year’s Resolution could start out with a question along the lines: “What is my optimal resolution for this year, considering the economic environment is still rather tight, my family’s needs, my own need to move forward, and my need to accomplish something really valuable?” (Note the considerations in the second part of the question.)

 

With this question in place, it is now possible to anchor it with the more extreme options (otherwise known as ‘bookends’). These could include: “Not pursuing a resolution this year” at one end and “Make a great breakthrough this year.”

 

From here, we can now insert at least 5-6 New Year Resolution choices in between, in order to stretch the choices as much as possible. Sleep on them overnight: this is particularly important to increase the level of commitment. Such natural emotional distancing enables our intuitive mind to really explore all the issues and challenges associated with the different options. By the following morning, it will be settled on the option we have the best chance of keeping. And so our resolution becomes more of a reality instead of a maybe. Come to think of it, now I can make my own resolution.    

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a recent solution. 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 ‘Forming the right collaborative relationship with another group or department?’”  You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

Getting Someone to Reconsider their Position:Resolved using Option Solving!

Not so long ago, a colleague and I were grappling with that perennial issue within the organization world, “Getting a key person to change his or her mind.” Of course, one of the first things which should be done, when faced with this sort of dilemma, is to determine that changing people’s minds will be beneficial for them.

In this case, we felt that it would be significantly beneficial to this person’s organization if we were to change his mind. We had a particular exercise in mind that we wanted him to experience, which would have a worthy impact both on him and his organization. However, he had closed the door, at least for the time being.

My colleague and I initially set about formulating an appropriate question, commencing with the words: “What is my best alternative for encouraging Jack to reconsider and participate in out XYZ session?” This, however, had to be bolstered by some thoughtful considerations, such as: He’s already made up his mind, He could use the outcome to provide great leadership to ABC organization, He could benefit from some positive re-education, and of course Dealing with his financial issues.

From this we figured out appropriate “bookends,” those more extreme options that help frame the best outcome. In this case, it quickly became apparent the most obvious two were: Let sleeping dogs lie, and at the other end Offer to do a free demo (having already done one free demo related to something else, this became a less tasteful option from our perspective).

From there we started to explore possible options, which included: Have lunch with this person and a third party confidante; Give the third party confidante a free snapshot view of the proposed XYZ session; Get an influential board member to participate in a free snapshot session, and so on. Again, it’s not important to reveal my colleague’s chosen option (we came up with 6) and, at the moment of writing this scenario, my colleague hadn’t fully tested it out. But it does go to show how option solving can be so valuable in a testing situation like this.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a recent solution. 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 ‘Making the most of my New Year’s resolution?’”  You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)