Should we invest in a new prime business location: using Option Solving?

A company senior team was about to take an important strategic decision: should we go ahead with investing in a current planned, new business location? They had already invested a lot of time and other resources in pursuing one prime option, but now were having second thoughts due to a number of considerations. They were invited to use the option solving technique to arrive at an optimum conclusion or decision because it utilizes the “whole mind” decision making capabilities, rather than our traditional rational, analytical approach. Our rational minds do not have the same range of capability as our intuitive powers.

Their initial task was to use their rational minds to formulate an appropriate question to stimulate their extraordinary intuitive powers for coming up with the best overall judgment of their options. This question and associated consider-ations became: “What is our best option for pursuing this prime business location opportunity, considering it could potentially bankrupt the company, the union labor costs, handling the investors, it’s in the heart of things, needs clear success criteria, and we have no special landlord connection?” They came up with six additional considerations, although felt the ones in this question were the most important. Note their use of both positive and less favorable considerations.

With this question in place, they were encouraged to develop two Yin and Yang “bookends” as framing limits by being the most unlikely options. In our Latest Example, you will see they turned out to be: “Close 1 city business to invest in new site,” at one end, with, “Set our sights on $50M revenues and invest accordingly” at the other. The reasons why these were least likely are given in our picture example.

They then put their efforts into producing more plausible but still creative options. The fact that they produced seven alternatives really encouraged them to search for every valid option. One of the seven turned out to be: “Invest in making it a special destination” …option E.

Happy with their range of options, they now took some emotional distancing time, by talking about other executive issues, while their option picture was hidden from view to allow her intuition to reflect on their possibilities. After about twenty minutes, they came back to their option picture, took a snap-shot view, and made their best intuitive choice. While their choice was fresh in their minds, they formulated an action 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: “Young people solving their career issues, again?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


Peeling the Onion: Our elderly relative has an abusive housekeeper. What are her options?

It was decided with our elderly Aunt that she should downsize her current home and use the opportunity to distance herself from her abusive housekeeper. The question was to do it in a way that would cause the smallest waves and not precipitate some backlash from that housekeeper. Our approach would be aided by a peeling the onion activity to flush out her best alternatives. In view of her age and the stress of thinking, I decided to take on the exercise and then discuss the outcome with her.

I set about creating a “peeling the onion” question which would start the decision-thinking process. My question and associated considerations came out as: “What it our best ‘peel the onion’ option for moving an elderly relative to a smaller place and ending the relationship with an abusive housekeeper, considering the obvious wisdom of downsizing, the unpredictable reaction of the housekeeper, removing a threat, and putting our relative in a safer situation?” Again, these were the most important considerations. Fortunately our elderly aunt had already started talking about the idea of downsizing, since her house is unwieldy and requires a lot of upkeep.

From there I created two Yin and Yang “bookends” representing the most unlikely options. You will find these in our Latest Example and they came out as follows: “Not take action,” at one end, with, “Offer to take the housekeeper into the downsized home” at the other. It is pretty clear why these don’t cut it, along with the reasons given in our picture example.

Now I set about coming up with reasonable options, now that my mind was primed by the right question and associated bookends. One of the five, and I aimed for at least five, turned out as: “Make a deal with the housekeeper to take care of her over next year or so” …option D.

I will now share this thinking and options with the aunt and allow her some emotional distancing time to allow her intuition to reflect on these sub-options (Peel the onion) and then call on her to make an optimal choice. We can then create an action 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: “Should we invest in a new prime restaurant location?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)