Figuring out how to attract the greatest number of participants to a meeting: using Option Solving?

Recently over lunch, I was discussing with an acquaintance about her attempts to set up a new style of meeting. She had already set up two sessions with a group of people she knew and was now hoping to move the approach along further. However, she was getting far fewer responses and was faced with the dilemma of how to change the situation. I therefore introduced her to option solving as a way of producing an optimal solution.

As a means of producing the right context, I encouraged her to develop an appropriate question. It was also a means of reframing her issue so it would inspire her creative, intuitive juices to start flowing. Hence we came up with a starting point for the question as follows:  “What is my best option for attracting the greatest number of participants to a designated meeting, considering that…” At this point, we selected three out of five possible considerations that would have the greatest impact, which you can view in our Latest Example. One of interest was: “The genie is out of the bottle.” Our thinking here was that, since she had already introduced the fresh meeting concept, she couldn’t use the element of novelty to attract people to her meeting.

Now we moved to produce two yin and yang “bookends,” which turned out to be “Drop the meeting idea altogether for now” and “Come up with a significant inducement.” In both cases, you will see we took the step of indicating strong reasons for not pursuing either, even though they are both clearly options. Having these two bookends in place would now help us to come up with at least five more plausible options: option that would spur my subject’s intuitive creativity to develop a range of alternatives rather than the typical “two” possibilities. This is what causes option solving to be a more creative solution approach than other more traditional approaches.

 Again, with the Latest Example, she came up with five alternative options, one of which was: “Bring along a particularly interesting guest.” Her other four options are there for viewing.

We then turned over our option solving picture and took some time away for emotional distancing to talk about other things. Quite apart from an interesting conversation about other pending issues, it provided a great moment for allowing her intuitive mind to subconsciously mull over the alternatives. After about fifteen minutes, we came back to her option solving picture. She rapidly absorbed it again and then made her choice without any undue deliberation: relying again on her intuitive powers.

With this done, she considered the option of either Peeling the Onion on her choice or discussing Next Steps. She opted for the former, so we can deal with that in two weeks time.

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: “Peeling the Onion on her best option for attracting more participants to a designated meeting.”  Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)



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