Dealing with another Business Development dilemma: using Option Solving?

Business development issues come up on a regular basis, especially during these tougher times. So, true to form, I was enjoying breakfast the other morning with someone I know in the consulting field, when the issue of business development came up. She started talking through the various options she had, when I stopped her short to talk through the benefits of option solving. She liked the idea, so we immediately applied it to her situation.

Without further ado, we started to develop an appropriate question to spark her creative juices and turn-on particularly helpful options. Such a question, with appropriate considerations would form a framework for assembling likely possibilities. After some thought, her question looked like this: “What is our best option for business development right now: considering 1) the marketplace/economy continues to be slow, 2) traditional methods are virtually dead, 3) using social/electronic media are tough to master,  4) it’s essential to reach senior decision makers, and 5) I now have a stronger message and value” She had other considerations, too, but these were her key ones so as not to make things too complicated.

Now her question was ready, I encouraged her to produce two appropriate likely yin and yang “bookends” to act as a framework for any viable options. These bookends were as follows: “Sit back and wait for prospects to emerge” and “Use the services of a marketing agency.” Neither of these would solve her issue, given the circumstances, even though they are clearly options – you will see why in our Latest Worked Example. However, these “bookends” are there to help stimulate the minds of those intent on solving their dilemmas through more optimal solutions.

I then quietly challenged her to produce a minimum of five options, so as to stretch her mind as much as possible to figure-out a minimal number of helpful options. She, in fact, produced a sixth option that occurred to her, which is fine. You can see these six alternatives in our Latest Example, where one is: “Option A: Compile prospect list and start calling.”

We then turned over this pictogram for a while and continued with our breakfast to allow some emotional distancing to occur. Emotional distancing would allow her mind to sub-consciously mull over all six options combined with her initial question. After a while we returned to her pictogram, where I encouraged her to make a speedy choice. By being speedy she would call on her intuitive responses rather than second-guess herself. Which option would you have chosen?

We won’t reveal her choice, which was based upon the circumstances as she saw them. Even so, once she made that choice, I encouraged her to put together an action initiative while her choice and dilemma issues were still fresh. That way she would reinforce her resolve to proceed and generate the best outcome.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be on August 5th following the authors forthcoming vacation. It will deal with a travel issue he has been dealing with: “My best train option in Milan?” 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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