Obtaining greater staff insight from a recent survey: by means of Option Solving!

I was recently involved with a staff PEACAM survey, which was designed to indicate the level at which “fires were being lit from within.” Although the outcome was reasonably good overall, some areas were not strong enough. To that end, she wanted to know more about what lay behind those particular areas, so we decided to look at her options. Since she was already familiar with Option Solving, we could proceed without further ado.

Consequently, we immediately started to work on an appropriate question and considerations, which turned out to be: “What is my best option for gaining insights and suggestions on recent PEACAM survey, considering that the indicators were reasonably good, want to keep it a positive experience, and I want them to take the ultimate lead on any initiatives?” There were more considerations than this, but we picked out the 50% most important ones.

With this in place, we then set about determining two Ying and Yang “bookends;” to act as the most extreme and unlikely options. They are designed to set her option limits, in addition to provoking her intuition to dig up the most practical options. In our latest example, you will pick these out as: “Leave things as they are and hope for improvements,” at one end and at the other end, “Give everything staff asks for.” Both were not acceptable, for the reasons stated in the “bookend” boxes.

Now we got to work on producing at least five options and in fact came up with six – see Latest Example. One option suggestion was: “Chat with staff one-on-one for insights and suggestions”…option B. Her other five choices are in our Latest Example. What options would you have come up within her circumstances?

We then proceeded to talk about some other important issues to give her intuition the space of emotional distancing and then she returned to this picture after about 15 minutes to make her intuitive choice. Once she did that, we discussed her action approach.

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 ‘Getting our key team through the storming phase?’” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Handling executive feud: by means of Option Solving!

Two years ago one of the owner’s daughters joined a client company to turn around the company’s sales and marketing fortunes. She, along with other team members, did just that and put the company on a fresh growth track. However, her special family status, as well as her high expectations style, has not helped the integration of the senior leadership team (Strategist Team). Despite efforts to get team members to work more closely together, there are particular difficulties between this young lady and the operations executive. The daughter faces a dilemma, since her father tends to side with the operations executive for historical and mindset reasons.

Since she was familiar with option solving, we could set right to in developing an optimal question, which was : “What is my best option for integrating with the Strategist Team, so it can largely run the company from a day-to-day perspective; considering poor group dynamics, lack of trust, family issues, and I bring good expertise/ experience to the company?” We listed about eight considerations in all, but she picked out the 50% most important ones so as not to make the question too complex.

Once this was established, we set about creating two Ying and Yang “bookends.” As the more extreme options, these would help set the option boundaries as well as nudge her creative intuition into coming up with the most likely options. Take a look at our latest example and you will find these as: “Turn a blind eye to everything,” at one end and at the other end, “Offer to buy the company.” Both were least acceptable, so their value in helping to prod some better options was assured.

With these in place, we set about reaching into her thoughts to come up with at least five options. You will see she came up with six – something that rarely happens with conventional problem solving – where one of them turned out to be: “Swap roles with Jack”…option D. Jack was the Operations Executive and I offered this option since I had seen it work rather well in more than one instance of feuding executives…the two parties then are more likely see the issues associated with each side. You are able to see her other five choices in our Latest Example. What would you do in her circumstances?

She proposed to “sleep on it” as a form of emotional distancing and I haven’t had the opportunity to find out what option she chose. No doubt I will sooner or later.

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 ‘Obtaining greater staff insight from a recent survey ?’” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)