Dilemma of Retiring from my Practice: by use of Option Solving!

A long time friend, who is also a professional practitioner, started talking to me about retiring from the practice he had built up over many years. He had hoped that over those years he would have recruited a junior partner who would now be ready to buy the practice, but things didn’t turn out that way for one reason or another.

Now he wanted to retire and was faced with a tough dilemma because the poor economy had affected the value of his practice and there were fewer potential buyers around. He had taken advice from a business lawyer, who was encouraging him to wait 5 years in the hope that the practice would regain its former value.

Faced with this quandary, we invited him to join us in an Option Solving On-line session, where he would have both a facilitator and a scribe to record the discussion. As a threesome, we initially focused on the right question and considerations, and eventually came up with: “What is my best immediate option for retiring from my practice, considering I want to get out in 3 years, my practice is hampered by the economy, and I’m willing to practice but don’t want the management headaches? – see Latest Example. There were more considerations than these three, although these seemed the most important ones.

As we worked the points through over a conference line, with same option solving picture on our laptops, we moved onto defining the “bookends”, those yin and yang items that would further frame the dilemma and give his intuition a provocative frame of reference. After some discussion, these turned out to be: “Willing to sell at any price” and at the other end, “Not sell, keep practicing.” Obviously neither was a starter, even though they are, in fact, options.

Now it remained for him, with facilitation guidance, to come up with a number of realistic options. You can see from the Latest Example that he came up with six options (although we deliberately have not shown all of them). While my scribe colleague reconfigured the order of these options, I kept my friend occupied with some other distracting small-talk, to allow for emotional distancing. This allowed his intuition to work through the variables, trade-offs and similar decisions (that had been recorded in his subconscious over the years).

Eventually, we came back to the Latest Example picture and, with a quick read of the question, “bookends,” and six options, from which he chose one. We then immediately started discussing his next steps, while it was still fresh in his mind. He then left the conference meeting to go and implement his decision, while renewed confidence and momentum was there.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have any example of your own, please share it with the blogger through the COMMENTS icon.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Promoting a more Positive/Conducive Relationship to Facilitate Progress?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Providing High Value to my Special Client: by use of Option Solving!

A consultant friend was recently talking to me about some of his challenges with a major client. He had recently completed a retreat and was due to get back to his client to discuss the outcome. Some of the complexities of the client’s team and recent events didn’t make the retreat easy, and my friend was in somewhat of a quandary as to how to play his forthcoming client phone conversation. It was only natural for me to offer an option solving session, to help this friend figure out the best way forward.

We immediately started focusing on an appropriate question, with the outcome being: “What is my best immediate option for providing additional value to my special client, considering…” The reason we went in this direction was because his client’s budgetary situation was tight and so it would mean offering additional highly prized value to keep the outcome relationship ongoing.

So we then moved on to the considerations, such as: “Politics of funding, its need to overcome a poor audit, its team is somewhat burnt out, and high team turnover.” These were the most important four of the several we flushed out.

Now we moved on to creating the two bookends, the extremes that would get my friends intuitive juices working. The two that jumped to the fore were: “Run away from the client” and at the other end, “Request full-time retainer for x days/month.” Neither of these were viable, but were still options.

With these in place, my friend was now primed to develop a range of options from which he could choose the best course of action. He came up with six and you can see three of them in the attached Latest Example. However, before he made a choice, we turned the options picture over and strayed off onto other topics for about 10 minutes, just to help him develop some emotional distancing.

Once he returned to the picture, which, unbeknown to him, was percolating in his intuitive mind, while we were discussing other things, he just quickly perused the question with considerations and then surveyed his options. His intuitive instincts guided him to his best option and that moment in time.

He was quite relaxed and comfortable about the outcome. That’s what option solving does for you. It brings instant clarity of perspective with its natural relief. We then moved on to his immediate steps going forward, while things were still in focus. I understand all went well with his subsequent client meeting.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have any example of your own, please share it with the blogger through the COMMENTS icon.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Retiring from my practice?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

What are we doing for July 4th: by use of Option Solving!

On the spur of the moment, as July 4th is imminent, it seems appropriate to postpone our original topic for this week’s blog (Providing high value to my special client?) until next time. That way we can focus on a possible family dilemma this coming weekend, as many families contemplate their options. Instead of the family patriarchs or matriarchs making the decision for everyone, Option Solving will allow everyone to participate and possibly come up with the best solution for most family participants.

This way we can remind readers that option solving can be used for personal or family issues, just as much as for business or professional ones.

So on Friday evening or Saturday morning, when family members are sitting around the table discussing their possibilities, somebody can take the lead and act as family facilitator. As this person steps-up, having read our short book, “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options,” he or she will encourage a question probably around what people would like to experience from such an important day. It could go something like this: “What would be everyone’s preferred choice for enjoying July 4th, considering…”

Prime considerations could include: “Making the day fun”; “Allowing everyone to participate”; “Everyone to be involved in any preparations”; and “Accepting the majority choice.” The full question can now be seen in our Latest Example.

With the question settled, the family facilitator now moves to create “bookends.” Those more extreme options unacceptable to our instincts. After some discussion, these could be: “Not bother to celebrate at all” and at the other end “Make it a 24 hour party.” Such far-out options will help frame any discussion about more favored options, which you will find in the Latest Example and then make your own choice. Enjoy your July 4th.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have any example of your own, please share it with the blogger through the COMMENTS icon.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)