Board operational options: using Option Solving

In our last blog we reviewed an international board’s strategic options, as it tries to create a more balanced approach to its meeting and operating activities. To this end, it decided to consider its options for discussing and implementing its operational issues.
Now that the Board is already familiar with the option solving approach, it readily developed a rational question to challenge their intuitive decision making powers. This turned out to be: “What is the right alternative for our Board to pursue its operational activities; considering there are different operational ideas on the Board, we are not entirely sure about our current approach, some Members find operational issues less interesting than strategic ones, and the need to be time-efficient with operational meetings?” Other considerations were brought up, but these were the most relevant ones. Such considerations play an important role in enabling our intuitive judgment to gain a full perspective of the decision situation.
Board members were then challenged to determine two bookends that would set unlikely limits and tease their intuitive minds to come up with more appropriate and likely options. These bookends turned out to be, at one end “Start from scratch again,” as the Yin, while the Yang at the other end was: “Have more frequent meetings that focus on a limited number of operational issues.” The reasons why these two extreme options proved unacceptable are to be found in our in our Latest Example. Once their bookends were in place, the intuitive minds of the Board members were already evaluating other likely, realistic options.
At this point, members were again invited to produce at least five options; so as to stretch their creative, intuitive senses to look at every reasonable possibility. One of the five, although not necessarily the one members ultimately chose, was: “Continue with current strict agenda and minutes approach “…Option B. The four other considered options are shown under our Latest Example tab… click on the tab and see for yourself.
With their completed pictogram now in place, since our intuitive mind prefers to interpret pictures, this Board was now ready for emotional distancing to aid their decision making. They put the pictogram away and then members discussed some other matters for the next hour or so. At that point, they reconvened to quickly refresh their minds with the pictogram and then make an intuitive choice.
They made their choices by confidential “paper ballot” to avoid a herd mentality, rush to judgment. Once a majority choice was made, they determined a related action initiative immediately, while all the issues were much to the top of their
minds.. What choice would you have made, if in their shoes?
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: “What is the next best step for my firm?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


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