Best way forward on innovating a new business venture: by means of Option Solving!

I found myself in a client’s office recently, where he had already established and activated an innovation team to explore additional key activities. His trouble was: although the CEO had called for the initiative, he was now tending to pull back and was also not convinced about the areas the team was exploring because they impinged on current business areas. My client was debating what to do next. My retort was option solving. Fortunately he was already familiar with the technique.

We plunged right into creating the appropriate question, which came out as: “What is my best option ‘now’ for innovating a new business venture, considering that it is a challenge to get my boss’s endorsement, it’s tough to get time from other innovation team members, I have other key priorities drawing on my time, and we will be stretched to find people to ‘build’ anything?” You can begin to realize his conundrum, although it already helped him to lay out the question and issues. These were what he considered were the most important of eight considerations, so he chose the top 50% to make the question less complex…see our latest example.

With these in place, we worked up two ‘bookends’, the Ying and the Yang possibilities, which were deliberately extreme options so as to give maximum spark to our later option selection. The two we developed were: “Walk away from the project,” and at the other end, “Boss turns over the reins to me.” Our Latest Example shows why these were the least workable.

Now we were ready to search for more plausible options and we worked hard to come up with at least five; knowing that by stretching at least to five, we would have fairly tested the limits of viable options. One of the five we developed was: “Spend more time clarifying new business parameters with my boss”… see Latest Example for our other choices.

We then spent fifteen minutes discussing some other issues, as a form of emotional distancing, and I left it to my client to make up his mind on the most appropriate option by the following morning. At least he felt much more relieved when I left because he had unearthed all the realistic possibilities. I heard his choice at a later time, but we will leave that with him as he acts upon it.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a 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 ‘Enhancing customer service team skills?’” You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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