Running effective Board meetings: using Option Solving

On participating in a recent sub-group meeting of an international board, it became clear that board Members had a range of possibilities in running their meetings more effectively. Whatever solution they arrived at, they would have to attain wider member endorsement as well as convince their time-strapped colleagues that any future meetings would be more content and time-effective.

I put together a paper outlining some options I thought may be of interest to this sub-group for them to consider once back at home. Subsequently, I thought it might be helpful to them, as well as other thousands of Board members out there, to view it as an option solving exercise. Option Solving can prove highly useful when solving tough dilemmas because it allows participants to utilize their highly powerful intuitive capabilities. (NOTE: Our natural intuitive abilities are natures gift for making the right calls.)

The first step toward making the right choice is to utilize our rational minds in coming up with the right question. The right question enables the effective challenging of our natural intuitive capabilities to come up with an appropriate choice. The question I chose, for their consideration, was as follows, which you can view in our Latest Example, was: “What will be our best alternative to running our Board more effectively; considering that our Board Members are not comfortable with our current approach, they don’t have the advantage of regular face-to-face meetings to negotiate an optimal approach, there’s a strong desire among Members to find a more effective means, and the Board is small enough to reach a reasonable consensus?” I came up with more than the four considerations given, but these seemed like the most important ones. It is important to show the right considerations to help frame the issue properly.

Once I had this question in place, it was time to develop two bookends (find out more about these from the book). The most likely bookends seemed to be: 1) Pursue a freewheeling meeting approach, as the Yin, and then the Yang at the other end 2) Start from scratch to devise a completely different meeting approach. The idea behind bookends is to choose extreme options that are least likely to be acceptable, so they prompt our minds to come up with the most realistic but creative options.

Once I put these bookends into place, I aimed to produce at least five options; as a way of stretching me to come up with a good range of options. By looking at our latest example, you will see that one option is to: “Pursue competence focused Operations and Strategic meetings”…Option D. Four other considered options are there, as well as an open item for group members to come up with their own additional option(s).

When the group members take a look at this and add any other appropriate options, without debating whether any of them should be there or not – since the option solving technique honors all suggested options, so as to spur new ideas and encourage people to participate – then they should allow time for emotional distancing. Emotional distancing allows them to step away from the pictogram completely and turn to something else. This could be for 10-20 minutes or sleep on it overnight.

Emotional distancing allows the enormous power of the intuitive mind to subconsciously mull over the pictogram, since it prefers interpreting pictures, to relate the given options to all prior similar experiences. When Group participants return to the pictogram, after their emotional distancing break, they will be drawn to one of the options. Group members should then share their choice.

Whichever item gets the most votes should be the choice of the group, unless there are other mitigating factors. They should then draw up an immediate action initiative for that chosen option, while everything is fresh within their thinking, and move forward accordingly. Maybe you have your own choice?

If you have an option solving example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Career decisions, again!” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


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