Better Freight Options – using Option Solving?”

At a recent executive forum, where we discussed the Option Solving technique, the group decided to use it to resolve a participant’s latest business dilemma. It was a freight forwarding company and therefore relied on a particular broker to help in moving freight westward. They had worked with the broker for a number of years, consequently it was a more difficult decision. The broker’s performance had been declining for some time and now was the time to “fish or cut bait.”

Having now familiarized themselves with the option solving technique, the group set about producing an appropriate question for their colleagues ultimate decision. After some due deliberation, it became: “What is our best option for moving freight West , considering current customer satisfaction, profitability impact, and opportunity to expand?” Other considerations were contemplated but these turned out to be the main ones.

They were now in a position to take the next option solving step: that is, to create two contrasting bookends, the least likely Yin and Yang frame-ends. These are designed to create option limits, as well as spur participants’ intuitive minds to search for the most practical options. After some debate, the book-ends transpired as: “Manage current broker to improve performance,” at one end, with, “Not go West” at the other. Neither of these were acceptable, even though they are legitimate options. You can see the reasons why not in our Latest Example.

With having got this far, the group began contemplating more acceptable options knowing that they had to produce at least five. In fact, you can see, they came up with seven; of which one was: “Handle all the freight in-house”… which happened to be Option E. Their other options are available for viewing.

I encouraged them to break-off for a while to talk about other things and allow some time for emotional distancing. A natural break, as well as time for sharing other option solving know-how, permitted their intuitive minds to subconsciously mull over their pictogram. When they returned to this pictogram, it was unveiled again and they were charged to quickly assimilate it and give their anonymous vote. The group did hone in on one choice, although there were a couple of outliers. What option would you choose for them?

Now that choice was made, they were encouraged to come up with an action initiative, while the choice was top-of-the- mind. A good time to take next steps.
If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Negotiating a colleague exit strategy?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

Advertisements

Peel the Onion: Shall We Sell our Business – using Option Solving?”

In our last example, we looked at the dilemma facing two family members as they considered an interesting offer to buy their company. They came up with 8 options and, after some emotional distancing, they concluded to postpone their decision for two years as the offer wasn’t rich enough right now to pursue. During that time, they would consider their optimum option to reap the best benefits of postponement.

As adherents to the option solving technique, they now set about producing an appropriate question for this new key decision. This turned out to be: “What is our best option in postponing a sell decision for 2 years and making the most of that hiatus; considering we might not find another buyer in 2 years, the market could go against us in that time, we may produce results beyond our expectations, complications if our workforce finds out, and our strong team may fall apart?” There were other considerat-ions, but these were the most predominant ones, in order not to make the question too complex.

Now they were ready to develop their two contrasting bookends, the least likely Yin and Yang frame-ends, which put the limits on option thinking, but, at the same time, spurred more realistic options. These turned out to be: “Minimize investment and maximize profit take,” at one end, with, “Maximize investment at minimum profit” at the other. You can see why these weren’t acceptable in our Latest Example.

The two of them then set about producing at least five plausible options . After a reasonable period of discussion they created these, one of which was: “Separate main from other growth businesses, and maximize performance in all “… which was Option C. You can view their other four options in our latest example.

With five options in place, they now broke off for a while for emotional distancing. They wheeled off to discuss other company issues and allow their intuitions to subconsciously work through their option picture. After some time, they came back to their pictogram and chose their option. What option would you choose for them?

Once their choice was made, they put in place an action initiative to move forward with their decision while everything was still fresh in their mind.
If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Better freight options?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)