Which picture should I choose for an article: using Option Solving?

When I had written a recent article about organization “in-breeding,” where enterprises get so wrapped up in themselves that they begin to atrophy, I was wondering what picture I could use to illustrate the point. I already had two or three options on file and I created another diagram that I thought would be interesting. I also had the option of finding out what possibilities my daughter may dig up. However, it wasn’t an easy choice, so I decided to make use of my own decision-medicine and apply option solving.

So, as I often advise others to do, I set to work on developing a rational question with considerations, since it’s the first step within option solving, so as to create a framework for any likely possibilities. After some thought, my question looked like this: “What is our optimum picture for use in article: considering 1) daughter put in effort to come up with interesting choice, 2) picture needs to capture people’s interest, 3) topic is not easy to pictorialize, and  4) may open new doors?” There were other considerations, but these were the most important ones so as not to make things too complicated.

With my question in place, I set about producing two appropriate likely yin and yang “bookends” to act as a framework for any viable options. These bookends were as follows: “Drop article all-together” and “Start all over again.” Neither of these seemed appropriate in the circumstances, for reasons indicated – go to our Latest Worked Example. However, they would serve the purpose of stimulating my mind to come up with the most viable options.

I then set about conjuring-up a minimum of five options, in order to stretch my mind to fathom a minimum number of helpful options. I inserted a sixth option to allow any relatives to inject their proposal(s).This would help entice other family members to take part in the decision process. You can see these six alternatives in our Latest Example, where one is: “Option E: Power Point with graphs showing improving- declining performance.”

Once I had received thoughts from family members, I turned my pictogram over on the table and went about my other business for a while to allow emotional distancing to occur. Emotional distancing allows my sub-conscious mind to mull over all my options. When I returned to it, somewhat later on, my intuition was ready to make a choice, where I chose option B. Which option would you have chosen?

With my choice I was ready to act and insert it into my article. I thought it was interesting enough to capture people’s attention, even if it wasn’t the most illustrative possibility. To that extent it served its purpose.

If you would like to review a copy of the article, “The Good Sense of Avoiding In-breeding,” then please contact the author at peter@ileadershipsolutions.com

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: “Another business development dilemma to solve?” 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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What’s our best option if our current proposal is turned down: using Option Solving?

During a recent client meeting the President was ruminating over the possibility of her company losing a good customer due to misunderstandings and mis-perceptions, rather than lack of competence. She had reviewed the whole situation with her VP Sales and they were about to visit their customer’s decision maker to see if they could turn things around. I introduced the President to option solving as a mechanism to understand their possibilities at such a meeting.

She initially worked with me to develop a rational question and considerations – the first step of option solving – so as to spark likely possibilities. After some discussion her question looked like this: “What are our options if our latest proposal is turned down: considering 1) we’ve developed a reasonably positive relationship, 2) felt our last activity went well, 3) have repaired relations with a detractor, and  4) there’s still good work to be done?” Note that I encouraged her to restrict the number of considerations to 50% of our list, so as not to make her question overly complex.

Now her question was in place, we created two appropriate likely yin and yang “bookends” to aid forming a framework for her to produce viable options. These bookends were as follows: “Walk away with bad feelings” and “Offer to do another pro-bono assignment.” These were the least likely possibilities, for reasons indicated – go to our Latest Worked Example – but they would do the job of stimulating my President-client to come up with more likely options.

Normally option solving requires participants to come-up with a minimum of five options, in order to glean the minimum number of helpful options. My client and I produced a sixth option to allow any of her team to inject its proposal(s).This would help pull her players into their decision process. You can see these six alternatives in our Latest Example – click on that tab – where one is: “Option D: Continue activities with other executives within customer’s organization.”

I encouraged my client to take this pictogram back to her team and get their buy-in and input before requesting team members to put the pictogram aside for some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing is time where they focus on other issues for a while as they allow their powerful intuitions sub-consciously mull over their options. At an appropriate moment, they would reconvene, reconsider their options, and then anonymously – via paper ballot – put in their vote. (NOTE: Anonymous voting is important to encourage objective responses). Which option would you choose if you were one of her team?

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: “Choosing an optimum picture for an article?” 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)