Helping a customer make an optimal decision: using Option Solving?”

Not so long ago, we heard about how a supplier and its customer were seeking to optimize their working relationship. There were a number of logistical and strategic reasons for doing this, but both sides were struggling with the best way for doing this to the customers optimal advantage.. It seemed appropriate to introduce them to the concept of option solving  to help resolve their decision dilemma. Once this approach became clear to both sides, they put together a small group of representatives from both parties to arrive at an optimal conclusion.

As a starting point, this bi-partisan group was challenged with coming up with the following rational question, “What could be the most convenient working relationship with customer ABC; considering local physical presence of supplier, the most cost effective approach,  the scale of its needs,  and building an exceptional relationship for the long haul?” Quite a few other considerations surfaced, but the intention was to keep it to around 50% of the entire list so as not to  over-complicate the picture.

Now the group’s question was ready, it was encouraged to consider appropriate Yin and Yang “bookends”; so as to challenge its thinking and to set outer extremities on its options. Its bookends turned out to be: “Leave customer to own devices,” at one end, with, “Build a full-time presence at customer” at the other. Look at our Latest Example to see why these were unlikely options.


With this framework in place, it was challenged to produce at least five plausible customer options through the use of its intuitive capabilities. (Note: By producing at least five, the team would sufficiently challenge its combined creativity  to determine a whole range of possibilities.)  One of its options was: “Strategic exercise incorporating both parties to align synergies “…  which was its Option E. Take a look at our Latest Example to see which one  you would consider in the circumstances?


It was now encouraged to utilize some emotional distancing  before it made its final choice. This would not only call on its collective wisdom to make an optimal selection, but also create some space for each participant to use their intuition to consider the group’s “pictogram” and compare it to untold experiences retained in each person’s mind.

After an hour of doing other unrelated things, the group returned to revisit its “pictogram,” make and display their choices, and then denote the most favorable one. With this in hand, the bi-partisan group made an overall selection and then put together an action initiative for customer ABC while things were still fresh in their minds.

If you have an issue 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 a families best storage option?”  We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


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