My Next Career Step – using Option Solving?”

Over two years ago a client moved to Europe for taking up a fairly prominent position in the country of the mother company. He went there to broaden his company exposure, take on greater responsibility , and position himself for more interesting career positions going forward. The time had come for considering his career options, especially as his family were ready to move back home and there was an acceptable (not great) offer on the table back in the US.

We developed an online dialog to consider his options and so set out to create an appropriate question to start the ball rolling. This came to be: “What will be my best career step at this moment in time, considering that my family wishes to return home to the US, there’s an interesting US subsidiary position offer on the table, there are no apparent interesting openings at corporate, if I don’t take this offer I don’t know when the next possibility will become available, and I have the opportunity to pursue a 10 week IMD course?” We’ve shown about 50% of his total considerations, so as not to make the question overly complex..

With the appropriate question in place, we then created two consensus “bookends.” These are designed to define the boundaries for any future options and are purposely created to be the least likely options. They also act as spurs to develop more likely options. The two we developed were: “Remain in current corporate position,” at one end, with, “Ask to be groomed for current boss’s job” at the other. You will see why these were unacceptable in our Latest Example.

Now we aimed to come up with at least five alternatives and, as you will see in our Latest Example, we came up with six options, one of which was: “Complete IMD course then seek position in office of either Global R&D Leader or Global CEO for 1 year + family return to US”… Option F. You can see the other five options in our Latest Example. Can you come up with others?

I encouraged him to sleep on these six options, as a form of emotional distancing, and then choose the one that he felt would best suit his situation by the following morning. I advised him to follow that intuitive call and work with it until a better option came up. He did sleep on it but then decided he would like to “Peel the Onion”, to create further insights, before pursuing any particular career game-plan. We will follow his deliberations in two week’s time.

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: “Peeling the Onion: My Next Career Move?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Transforming Our Company – using Option Solving?”

At another recent workshop involving a group of CEOs, one business owner became quite interested in the idea of transforming his business. He was unclear as to the best way to go about it and so it was appropriate to look at his options for doing so. Once he and his colleagues became clear on the option solving technique, they decided to use it to help him determine his best approach.

After some due rational thinking and discussion, they developed an appropriate question that turned out to be: “What is our best option for transforming our company, considering that we’re operating as a typically managed company, have not normally involved my people in decision making, we need to go in a new direction, and our future looks rather foggy?” The considerations used here were about 50% of those listed, but were the most important ones.

Now they had the right question, the group split into three entities, based on the number involved, to come up with two consensus “bookends.” Such book-ends define the boundaries for any future options, since they are least likely to be considered. Following some sub-group discussion and comparisons between them, the three sub-groups agreed upon: “Continue to stay on our current course,” at one end, with, “Seek merger with more successful competitor” at the other. The unacceptability of these two becomes pretty clear in our Latest Example.

With these in place, the sub-groups were challenged to produce at least five alternatives and, in fact, each group produced two as can be seen in our Latest Example. So you will notice six options, one of which was: “Staff retreat on transformation: use compability exercise to enlist involvement and commitment to fresh approach”… Option D. Take a look at the other five options and see if you can come up with others.

We invited the CEO concerned to take away the resulting pictogram (see Latest Example) for him to sleep on it, as a form of emotional distancing. This would allow his intuitive capabilities some sub-conscious time to reflect upon it. He was advised to look at it briefly before he went to sleep and then look at it again when he woke up? Whatever intuitive view he came to at that point, he should go with that option, since it has the best probability of being the right one in his circumstances. You can also decide which one you might pursue if you were in his shoes.

That very same morning, he will be well advised to put an immediate action
initiative together, while it is still fresh in his mind and then act upon it. 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: “My Next Career Move?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

Getting my tech. team on-board to resolve our client maintenance issues – using Option Solving?”

At a recent workshop involving a bunch of CEOs, it suddenly became apparent that one business owner was struggling with getting his tech team to accept a better approach toward client maintenance issues. He was anxious to resolve this as soon as possible, since their current approach was likely to cause their company to go out of business. As the attendees has just learnt about option solving, they felt it looked like the perfect tool for resolving their colleague’s issue.

They were then encouraged to use their rational thinking to come up with an appropriate question, which proved to be: “What is our best alternative for getting my tech team on-board, considering they would like to keep client maintenance as is, we could potentially go out of business if we remain as is, with proposed changes we will be more prosperous, and we could grow much faster with the right client maintenance model?” There were other considerations but these were the most important ones.

Once this question was in place, the group split into two to come up with two “bookends,” so as to set boundaries for their future options. After some sub-group discussion and comparisons between the two, they produced: “Continue with current maintenance approach,” at one end, with, “Use outside maintenance org” at the other. Why these were unacceptable is indicated in our Latest Example.

It was explained to the group why it had to come up with at least five altern-atives so as to test its creativity as much as possible. Again, in two sub-groups, they produced five between them. One of these turned out to be: “Have option solving session with tech team to devise optimal solutions”… Option C. You are free to view the other four options and see if you could have come up with others.

The resulting pictogram (see Latest Example) was then turned over and put out of sight to give the CEOs a break for talking about something else for a while. It’s rather important to use emotional distancing as a means of allowing our intuitive minds to chew over the options and all our past experiences. About 30 minutes later, the group returned to the pictogram, quickly sized it up, and made their anonymous vote. Their colleague now had the “wisdom of the crowd.” What would be your choice in the circumstances?

Once the group made its choice, it helped the CEO immediately figure out an appropriate action initiative to make the most of the situation.. 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: “Transforming our company?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)