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.)

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