Installing a new VP Sales: using Option Solving?

We were recently made aware of a sizeable, growing company whose aspiring VP Sales was lured away into a different career role by a major organization. The package, new career role and associated prestige was tough for this former, aspiring executive to resist. This left the owners challenged with finding a replacement, where their sales benchstrength is not strong, they aren’t  in an easy industry to find talented sales leaders, and their position could be potentially rewarding in so many ways.

Since the owners were already pretty familiar with option solving, it didn’t take them long to start formulating an appropriate rational question: “What is our best option for installing a new VP Sales; considering 1) short on in-house sales leader candidates, 2) not an easy industry to find potential competent candidates, and 3) a potentially rewarding career position for the right person?”  There were understandably several other considerations but these were the most important ones. It’s important not to place too many considerations into the picture, so as not to overly complicate matters.

Once they had this question available, they could now produce suitable yin and yang “bookends” to set a framework for their forthcoming viable options. These bookends would frame any final choices and jolt their imaginations for producing at least five alternatives. Their bookends turned out to be, “Leave position open  until someone is groomed from within” and “Try to lure prior person back.” Our Latest Worked Example shows why these two bookends were the least appropriate. Even so, they served the useful purpose of sparking more realistic alternatives..

Now they were positioned for deriving their at least five realistic options. However, you will see they were able to produce six. You can also see these six alternatives in our Latest Example: where one is: “Option F: Bring in experienced, temporary sales leader until a fresh person is groomed.”

Based upon this “pictogram,” we encouraged them to take some time-out so as to subconsciously reflect on their options. They turned to emotional distancing  to allow their experienced minds to trawl their countless life and business experiences, and chew over the alternatives. Within hour or so they would be ready to revisit their options and choose. Which one would you choose if you were in their position?

The moment they have made their choice, they should then develop an appropriate action initiative to move forward, while it’s still all fresh in their minds.

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: “A corporate intern has to reconsider his options?” 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” through


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