How could our friends’ best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary: using Option Solving?

 

It was one of life’s ironies. Two weeks ago I was thinking through the dilemma of how to spend our XX wedding anniversary. Because it was top of the mind, we were discussing our potential options with friends, when, out of the blue, they started sharing they had the same dilemma for their  imminent anniversary, too. So, I switched to talk about their situation because it could well have an outcome on our choices.

Having explained to our friends how option solving works, which intrigued them no end, I nudged them into formulating an appropriate question to get their creative intuitive juices going.  The outcome of their deliberations proved to be: “What is their best option for celebrating their XX wedding anniversary, considering it’s a fairly significant milestone, tougher economic times hold back the scale, need to avoid weekday business interruptions, and trying to make it as special as possible?” You can see their  four considerations at the back-end of this question. There were others, but these seemed to be the most important ones…around 50% of the total. Again, try not to make these more than 4 or 5, otherwise you may unnecessarily complicate things.

With their question now in place, they then had to generate two “bookends”  so as to create a constructive framework for any subsequent range of options. These bookends are designed to indicate extreme options; that is, the ones least likely to be pursued before denoting more practical options. The two bookends they produced for their situation, as a “Yin” and “Yang” combination, were: “Do nothing special” at one end and “A week in Europe” at the other. By taking a look at our Latest Example, you will see their impracticalities for not choosing either.

Once they had set these bookends in place, it gave them a framework for figuring out a range of options. (Note: It’s always advisable to come up with a least five options, so as to challenge your creative mind as much as possible.) In their case, you will see our Latest Example “pictogram” of their six alternative options. By producing this pictogram, it gave their intuitions a much better chance of absorbing and enabling them to pick their optimum choice. (Note: Your intuitive mind responds much better to pictures than words, when making decisions.)

We then gave our friends some emotional distancing time to think through their option: to allow their intuitive minds to do what they were built for…consider the alternatives relative to all their life’s experiences. In fact, we encouraged them to sleep on it and come back with their choice the following morning. When they did, they came back with: “New Jersey shore”…Option F… again, see our Latest Example. What option would you have chosen in their shoes?

We then encouraged them to take it one step further by “Peeling the Option Solving Onion,” so they would come up with their best choice at the New Jersey shore. We will share the outcome of their next deliberations at our forthcoming blog in two weeks.

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: “Peeling the Onion – How could they best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary at the New Jersey shore?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options.”)

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What will be my Wife’s Best Surgery Option: using Option Solving?

What will be my Wife’s Best Surgery Option: using Option Solving?

Over recent months my wife has been consulting with a specialist to determine how to overcome some ligament damage in her lower left leg. She experienced some excessive leg swelling and cramping of her toes several months previously. Following an additional MRI and other consultations, it came down to deciding on her best option relative to certain considerations. She was experiencing too much discomfort and inconvenience by not doing anything.

When we got to the surgeon’s office, we nudged him into making a clear cut proposal based upon the several options that he put forward. So our question was put as follows: “What is my wife’s best toe-leg surgery option, considering she wants to put the discomfort behind her, lose minimum time away from her practice, have her life inconvenienced as little as possible, wants recovery time to be short, and minimize the surgical procedures?” There were other considerations but these seemed to be the most important ones; which were around 50% of the total – try not to make these more than 4 or 5.

Once the question was agreed, we now had to generate two “bookends”  for the purpose of framing any subsequent range of options. These bookends would denote extreme options, least likely to be pursued, so as to initiate a number of more practical options. The two bookends we came up with for her situation, as a “Yin” and “Yang” combination, were as follows: “Leave things as they are” at one end and “Complete foot and leg ligament realignment” at the other. If you take a look at our Latest Example, you will see why neither were likely to be chosen.

Now that these bookends were set in place, we had a framework for the surgeon to propose a range of options. Her surgeon then began describing my wife’s various options. The given  “pictogram” in our Latest Example shows her six options, bearing in mind with this decision technique it’s important to come up with at least five; so as to flush out a good range of alternatives. By producing a pictogram, it gives our intuition a much better chance to help us; since it responds much better to pictures rather than words.

I then encouraged my wife to sleep on those options and when she woke the following morning decide which might be her best bet. Being a veterinary surgeon herself, it gave her the extra insight to consider these possibilities. One that caught my eye was: “Large toe surgery only”…Option C… but the choice was to be hers, as it was her body… again, see our Latest Example. What option would you have chosen in her shoes?

I’ll find out from her soon enough. Once she’s taken the decision, helped by her/our tremendous intuitive capabilities, she will then work out a practical approach with her surgeon.

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: “On a personal note – How could we best celebrate our XX wedding anniversary?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options.”)

What should be my next company career step: using Option Solving?

 

I was recently reading an article about a senior  corporate sales executive who was in a dilemma about his next career move, bearing in mind his current company situation and relationship with its principals. He didn’t give us many clues about the market he was in, other than it was  more of a strategic sell. This means the ticket price is probably pretty high and it usually takes a lengthy period of time to orchestrate each sale. He clearly has a smallish sales team to help with securing company sales objectives. However, his strained relationship with the firm’s principals have not helped his financial circumstances, as well as general tightness in the marketplace.

Out of interest, I was tempted to contact him and introduce him to option solving, but needed to convince myself of his likely options first; based upon what I could determine from the article. So, moving ahead with my option solving expertise, I set about producing an appropriate question, if I were in this senior sales executive’s shoes. My question was formulated as follows: ““What is my best company career option; considering a challenging relationship with the principals, don’t particularly enjoy my colleagues, it’s tough to maintain a good lifestyle, and am not especially appreciated for my efforts?” I produced other considerations but have shown the most important ones; which were around 50% of the total – a good technique to use with option solving, rather than make it too complex.

With my question in place, I now had to generate two “bookends”  for the purpose of framing any subsequent range of options. Bookends denote extreme, least likely  options, so as to stimulate a range of more practical options. The two bookends I came up with for him, as a “Yin” and “Yang” combination, were as follows:: “Leave as soon as possible” at one end and “Join a major competitor” at the other. Our Latest Example shows why neither were likely to be chosen.

Once these were in place, I had a framework to devise a range of options, based upon the bookends.  I knew I had to produce at least five or more alternatives to be sure I had flushed out an optimum range of real possibilities. That would test his and my intuitive creativity to be reasonably sure we had covered all reasonable  options. The “pictogram” I created is now available for you to see… see Latest Example. A pictogram helps to stimulate our intuition, since our intuition responds much better to pictures rather than words.

One of my proposed  options turned out to be: “Build 1-2 new business initiatives into profit centers, while acting as senior seller”…Option D…  again, see our Latest Example.

This would have been my preferred option, if I were in his shoes. He could then still leverage the hard work he’d put in over the past 5-6 years. Mind you, I came to that conclusion after an hour long emotional distancing stint. This allowed my intuitive instincts to subconsciously  churn over this range of options, while I went about doing completely different things. When I reviewed the pictogram after an hour, I went for Option D. I pretty much went straight into producing an action initiative while things were still much in my immediate thinking.  What option would you have chosen?

Maybe I’ll still try to contact the magazine author and share what I came up with?

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: “On a personal note – What will be my wife’s best surgery option?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Option