Dealing with Inevitable Tensions between Sales and Manufacturing: by use of Option Solving!

Not so long ago I was working with a group of executives to share the benefits of Option Solving. We agreed to find a common topic to use as a practical example, which is where the issue of the inevitable tensions between sales and manufacturing came up.

With a healthy amount of discussion we arrived at an appropriate question: “What
is our best option for dealing with the inevitable tensions between sales and
manufacturing , considering differences in product understanding, working
with different goals, and insufficient understanding of each other?” (Note: The
three considerations that were incorporated into the question. Initially there were
more than three, but we honed them down to the most important ones.)

Once the question was ready, we sought to develop “bookends” (see the Latest
Example). You can see these are extreme options that participants used to frame the
exercise, so that they would nudge their intuitive minds into high creative gear.
Now they were in the best position, along with their question, to eke out the best
range of options. Among the seven they created, were “Involve operations in the
sales development process,” “Complete/Insure common objectives,” “Swap
roles ” and “Manufacturing report to sales.”

Once their choices were in place, we took a 10 minute natural break for some
emotional distancing and then invited independent polling among all the
participants. The group made their choice and then seemed comfortable with the
outcome. The exercise brought sudden clarity to their perspective and they were ready to move ahead. We immediately defined the steps they would take at the outset, while the momentum was there. This only added to their satisfaction with the result.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its
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 ‘Handling the education situation in our State?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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