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


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