President Obama resolving his latest Egyptian dilemma: by means of Option Solving!

Two weeks ago President Obama and his team were embroiled in the Egyptian crisis, where the army had set up an interim government and was cracking down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood. He and his team were struggling with what course to take relative to their various options. Assuming they were familiar with the option solving technique, they were able to draw upon the outcome of my own exercise.

The question I created for them, with its appropriate considerations, came out as follows: “What is President Obama’s best alternative for resolving Egypt’s latest turmoil, considering that the US wishes to remain a major influence there, doesn’t wish to antagonize Mid-East neighbors any further, wants to end up with true democracy, and wants to offset Russia and Chain’s influence within the region?” There were clearly other considerations, but the ones given are the key ones.

From there I introduced two likely Yin and Yang “bookends” to help frame their subsequent, more appropriate options. Although these bookends are options in themselves, they are too extreme to consider, hence the reasons given in their respective boxes. The two I produced for them were: “Just ignore the whole thing,” at one end, while at the other end, “Direct US intervention.” Use of these two unlikely options were available to inspire new thinking on this tricky issue and induce fresh ideas.

In our Latest Example, I dug up six options they could use. They would of course have more potential options based upon their own intelligence sources. However, one of my options turned out to be: “Set up a high powered Arab delegation to broker a deal”…option C. Take a look at my other five options that were available for President Obama and his team to use, in our Latest Example, and see if there are others you would’ve included.

I then advised him and his team to put in some emotional distancing overnight, and meet the following day to decide on their best option. They’ve made their choice since, built an action plan and then moved forward. Unfortunately the waters have become muddied with then recent chemical attack in Syria, hence this becomes the subject of our next option solving exercise in two weeks.

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: “President Obama dealing with his Syrian dilemma?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Pursuing Recent Unexpected Reconnect with a Former Business Associate: by means of Option Solving!

By chance, Linked-in created an opportunity to connect with a former business associate who had popped up in the Connect Column, after totally disappearing from the scene a year ago. I pursued it with tongue in cheek to see what would happen. Sure enough, a week or so later he responded to complete the connection. This also revealed his new place of work. The dilemma then was whether to re-pursue the relationship, because he had shown the ability to come up with an elegant software program solution, or remain at arm’s length. I then proceeded to contact another associate to get his input. He naturally challenged me to come up with the options open to us.

So I created the following question, with its appropriate considerations: “What is our best option of reconnecting with a former business associate and possibly his assist with an On-Line application, considering that he backed away unannounced once, his willingness to reconnect via LinkedIn, the prize of having an elegant on-line solution, and the loss of momentum from two prior attempts?” In our latest example you can see this set out. There were some other considerations, but these seemed to be the most important ones.

I immediately established two Yin and Yang “bookends” to help frame new, more plausible options. Although these are options in themselves, they are two extreme to consider, hence the reasons given in their respective boxes. The two I came up with were: “Let sleeping dogs lie,” at one end, while at the other end, “Offer him a deal he cannot refuse.” These started some fresh thinking on the issue and what options might present themselves.

Again, as you can see in our Latest Example, I eventually came up with four options, which I presented to my associate. He didn’t have any additional suggestions, although a fifth one popped up subsequently. I’ve always found you are likely to find the best solutions with at least five options. One of my options turned out to be: “Reach out directly by email within ‘How are you doing?’ context”…option A. Take a look at my other four options in our Latest Example and see which one you would’ve chosen. I’ve then been using a lot of emotional distancing, due to travel and other things, and will wait for my intuition to help me pursue the best option. Then I will create an action plan, or not

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: President Obama resolving his latest Egyptian dilemma?’” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

Peeling the Onion – Dealing with a new personal career decision: by means of Option Solving!

Last time we observed how someone’s son had to make a new personal career decision. After going through the option solving approach, he decided to peel the onion, to gain more insight on the best way to handle his career situation. Now suppose he picked Option E – Find a good reason to postpone the interview. Pursue when have everything lined-up. Now he needs to create a new question, reflecting this particular option.

This question, with its considerations, turned out to be: “What is my best way of handling postponement of the interview, considering that it might jeopardize any opportunity for a future interview, I have to find a really plausible excuse, and I will lose the opportunity to clarify many relocation issues?” There were a couple more considerations, but he decided to focus on the 50% most important ones – take as look at our latest example.

Once again, he had to come-up with two Yin and Yang “bookends” for framing other potential options and to inspire a range of more plausible ones. These can be found in our latest example as: “Just ignore the invitation,” at one end, while at the other end, “Pursue interview.” In the circumstances, he saw these as rather unlikely for reasons indicated in our latest example. They did provide a useful framework, however, to start fresh thinking on the issues.

He ultimately came up with five useful options – again, see our Latest Example. You are likely to produce the best possibilities by coming up with at least five options: more than that would be an extra bonus. One of his options turned out to be: “Inform them: ‘On reflection that I’m not sufficiently ready right now.’”…option B. Take a look at his other four options in our Latest Example and see which one you would’ve chosen. He then proceeded with emotional distancing, to give his sub-conscious, intuitive mind time to mull over his five possibilities before choosing. A great way to come up with an optimal approach.

After about half an hour, focusing on something completely different, he returned to his option solving picture and made his choice. He then proceeded to make a simple action plan while everything was still fresh in his mind. Now he was ready to move forward with an optimal decision and game plan.

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: “Re-establishing a former key business contact?’” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)