Securing Ongoing, Emergency Accreditation: using Option Solving?

 

Not so long ago I spent some time with a college department chair to demonstrate the power of Option Solving. Jerry quickly presented his most immediate dilemma which was the need to secure accreditation for a new animal technician course. His college had recently merged the animal technician course of a two year community college into their own program, but needed accreditation to continue running it as a two year program. The college had overlooked the accreditation agency, which had put his group on 60 day notice to complete the process. Accreditations usually take up to two years to prepare for.

Using this as our practical example, we set to work with phrasing Jerry’s  option solving question, which started out as: What is my best option right now to secure emergency, ongoing accreditation, considering…” Then we listed seven different considerations to provide the right context, of which he chose four – two of which were, Overcome a political SNAFU with the accreditation board” and “Challenge staff to meet a critical deadline” –see our Latest Example for the rest. It is advisable to cut any list of considerations by 50%, notwithstanding uneven numbers, so as not to make the question too complex and unwieldy.

Now that Jerry had put his overall question in place, he was encouraged to come up with two yin and yang “bookends,” so as to form an option framework and to flush out unlikely extremes. From this, one of them was, Don’t pursue accreditation” – see latestexample. The other was, Pull off accreditation within 30 days.” Our example indicates why these were untenable.

 Bookends like these also tweaked Jerry’s intuition to find more appropriate options. You can see his picture of five possible options: one of which was, Approach State Board to assist with accreditation issue” – Option E. He produced at least five, in order to stretch his creative thinking as much as possible – see latest example.

It was now time to invoke emotional distancing, so as to allow time for Jerry’s intuitive mind to chew over his full question and option picturebefore choosing. So we turned it over and talked for about ten to fifteen minutes about several other issues we were both contemplating: none of them related to the topic at hand. We knew full well that his intuitive mind would be rapidly working through his alternatives, relative to thousands of other experiences he had dealt with, during this interim period

 When the time came, we turned over the picture and Jerry quickly scanned it again to refresh his thinking. Without hesitation, he made his choice. At this point, I challenged him to come up with Next Steps, while his thinking was still absorbed with the subject at hand. These next steps would help him push forward once we had gone our separate ways. The last I heard, everything was on track and Jerry was very happy with his choice. Option Solving does that for you.

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: “Do we allow ourselves to become a dealer for an overseas supplier?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

 

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