Best way for a senior team to communicate to meet its commitments: using Option Solving?

In a recent client session, we were preparing for a forthcoming meeting that he would chair about how he and his senior team mates would communicate going forward  while meeting their commitments. We naturally started looking at various options, so I couldn’t resist not making it into an option solving exercise. His intention was to present the options to his colleagues to get their input when the time came.

With some due deliberations, we created an optimal question with considerations which looked like this: What is the best way for our senior team to communicate to meet our commitments, considering that all the executives are very busy, concerns over mutual respect, and the best results will only come by working as a team?” The considerations were from a listing of six: that is, we picked out the 50% most important ones.

We now started work on producing two yin and yang “bookends;” to create a framework for future options. They also served as strong prompts for encouraging our intuitions to produce some creative alternatives. Two we came up with were, Communicate on an ad-hoc basisand Talk with each other on a daily basis.” See our latest example as to why these were least likely.

As our intuitions were now primed, we set about finding at least five plausible options to really cause his colleagues to stretch their possibilities. The five options are shown in our latest example: one of which was, Nurture and maintain “good-will” accounts with each other” – Option A. What we meant by “good-will accounts” was a recommended technique for creating good on-going relations with colleagues. Treat them in the same way as you treat your bank accounts: that is, you only have something to draw upon if you put something in. Hence you are regularly investing in colleague relationships because you don’t when you’re going to have to draw upon any of these accounts.

When our option solving picture was ready, showing our five alternatives, we decided to halt there so that my client could share this picture when his team chair moment came. The team could then discuss the options, add to them if possible, participate in some emotional distancing,  and then be in a position to make their best choice. At least he will have their best buy-in from using this approach, which will create a better likelihood for their commitment to make the chosen option work.

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: “What way could Presidential contender maintain a prominent profile while Hurricane Sandy prevailed?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)



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