Best option for non-profit to build central admin. team: using Option Solving?

Best option for non-profit to build central admin. team: using Option Solving?
A couple of weeks ago a non-profit executive board team was grappling with issues related to its ongoing growth and influence. It realized the necessity for upgrading its central admin team to support its growing activities. However, funds were tight, the organization was fairly spread out, rotating Presidents could be anywhere geographically, and admin systems were still fairly rudimentary.
Once they were introduced to the option solving concept, they realized its potential to help them find an optimal, near term solution.. With that possibility, they set about formulating a question that would stimulate their minds to come-up with possible alternatives. This turned out to be: “What is our best near-term option for a Central Admin Team; considering funds are tight, the organization is fairly spread out, rotating Presidents could be anywhere geographically, and admin systems are still fairly rudimentary?” The subsequent considerations reflected the ones noted in the prior paragraph, although there were other less critical factors.
With this question in place, it was now necessary for them to propose two “bookends” as a means of framing their various options. These bookends would act as extremes, so were the least likely to be chosen. At the same time, they would help provoke more realistic options once the moment came. Their two bookends, as a “Yin” and “Yang,” turned out to be: “Stay as we are” at one end and ” Go for full-fledged admin team to support dramatic growth” at the other. These can be seen, along with why they were least likely to be chosen, in our Latest Example.
Suddenly their minds started racing into gear as they were thinking about more realistic options. They split into pairs to produce different options and then handed them to their facilitator for sharing through a “pictogram.” A pictogram would stimulate their intuitive minds, which prefer pictures, as they considered the question formed by their rational minds. They were challenged to come up with at least five options, to maximize the range of possibilities, although they ultimately came up with seven.
One of the options they came up with was: “Outsource to (B); Hire a non-profit mgt. firm” – Option E, which can be seen in our Latest Example. Their pictogram was now removed from view, to allow their intuitive minds – the faculty that ultimately makes their decisions – an opportunity to dwell on these options during an interval called emotional distancing. Given a natural break of at least 15-20 minutes, they could then return, quickly review the pictogram as a refresher -even though it was being considered subconsciously by each of them -, and then make their best immediate choice.
The group’s vote was taken confidentially, through note paper, and then handed to their group leader for a tally. We will leave you to make your own preferred choice, rather than second-guess them.
Once their overall choice was made, they were encouraged to come up with an appropriate action initiative, while everything was still fresh in their minds. This would stimulate them to move forward rather than give them time to second-guess themselves.
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: “Best option for encouraging leaders of a family business to get back onto the same page?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options.”)


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