Best option for dealing with a Company Hornet’s Nest: by means of Option Solving!

A short while ago I was discussing with a company executive about his new assignment. It sounded as though he was inheriting a real hornet’s nest because trust had broken down over several months on both sides: the executives had lost confidence in the particular business unit and vice-versa was true with the people in the unit. To make things even more interesting, was the fact that this executive was going to use his assignment to rehabilitate his own leadership reputation in the eyes of his senior executives.

The first obvious question was to look at his options. He was looking at a pretty limited range at that time. So we started to frame an appropriate question to start some out-of-the-box-thinking to flow. After some discussion, his question started out as, “What is my best option to build a positive critical mass within the next 3-6 months, considering…” Critical mass was important, since the unit was still not able to stand on its own two feet.

After some further conversation, he came up with considerations such as, “… current unhelpful poor relations, inadequate facilities, senior executive performance expectations, and the need for better team focus?” These were then tacked onto the end of the earlier question. Of course, every situation has its own considerations, so I wouldn’t encourage you to follow his carte blanche: you’ll have your own.

Once these were packaged together, his next step was to come up with a couple of “bookends” or the ‘Ying and Yang’ option extremes that he was least likely to pursue. Getting these out would help stimulate his creative intuition to come up with reasonable alternatives. He ended up with: “Go and take over: kick butt” at one end and “Go and sell (for the unit): let the chips fall where they may.” Neither were especially viable in the circumstances, but they were still options.

With the question, considerations and “bookends” in place, he was now ready to look at his reasonable options, some of which turned out to include: “Arbitrate between XYZ location team and executives,” “Identify senior level obstacles and then bypass to present issues to top executives,” and “Round table discussion with all interested parties.” I will leave it open as to his optimum solution, as this will be impossible for you to judge: since you are not in his particular circumstances, with his particular range of talents.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a potential 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 ‘Stimulating an executive into action?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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