Executive’s Best Business Option going Forward: using Option Solving?

While in Florida working with a client sometime back, she pointed out some of the relationship difficulties she was experiencing with a key product executive. He had been in her company for quite some time and had done some great things, but the two of them were increasingly at odds over the corporate culture and progress. She didn’t want to lose him, owing to his talents and creativity, but their difficult relationship was having an increasing impact on other key players.

Once she understood the principles of the option solving approach, she participated in applying her rational thinking to put an appropriate question and considerations together; as if acting on his behalf. It came out like this: “What is executive’s best business option going forward: considering 1) could consider giving a stake in a new product area, 2) complete the transaction asap, 3) continuing as we are makes everyone feel uncomfortable and , 4) retain a solid working relationship throughout?” Note how we contained her to four considerations, even though there were others, in order not to make the question overly complex.

Now she had this question in place, she set about anticipating her executive’s likely yin and yang “bookends” to form a framework for possible viable options. These transpired as follows: “Remain as current Head of Product Sales” and “Find another position elsewhere.” Since these were both probably untenable for her executive, you can look at our Latest Worked Example to see why he probably wouldn’t consider these two bookends. Even so, they would act as prompts for her executive’s intuitive mind, when he reviews the resulting “pictogram” so as to produce more viable options.

You will see where she subsequently created six options on his behalf, instead of the strongly recommended five as a minimum, which included space for him to suggest his own option(s) when the time came. Such an activity would help pull him into the process. You can see her/his (?) six alternatives in our Latest Example: where one is: “Option B: Work from separate office away from HO, while considering options.”

However, the intention was for this business owner to have a quiet discussion with her executive about their impasse, let him produce his own sixth option, or more, and encourage him to pursue some emotional distancing overnight to allow his intuitive mind to contemplate his life’s experiences and relate them to these options. So, which option would you choose if you were in this executive’s position?

The woman owner was briefed on how to handle the situation, when her

executive came back to her the following morning, with a decision on his preferred option. In essence, this would then give them the opportunity to work through a likely action initiative, while the whole thinking was still fresh in his mind. Despite any drawbacks, he should be encouraged to move ahead, since his intuitive mind had helped him pick his best option based on his known personality and circumstances.

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: “What’s our best option if current proposal is turned down?” 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” through amazon.com)

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