Increasing my organization’s performance effectiveness: using Option Solving?

At a recent executive workshop, where we discussed the use of option solving, one of the participants was willing to share his current dilemma regarding the need to induce greater organization performance effectiveness. He had the great possibility to draw from “the wisdom of the crowd” of executives that were participating in the workshop. In fact, they all had an opportunity to work through a dilemma. He just happened to be the lucky one, pulled out of the hat, to receive “crowd” input on his situation.

He came up with the rational question as follows: “What would be the most valuable approach our organization could take today to increase its performance effectiveness; considering 1) resource limitations, 2) competitive environment, 3) current leadership team, and 4) employee turnover?” He apparently considered other possibilities, too, but these were his primary four choices without overly complicating his dilemma question.

Once he laid out his question, he immediately set about producing two likely yin and yang “bookends” to increase his mind’s focus on generating more viable options. His bookends were as follows: “Complete freedom autonomy” and “High level of micro-management.” You can see these in our Latest Worked Example.

He then gave a lot of thought to producing a minimum of five options and left open a sixth for his key team to produce one or more additional options, once he returned to his corporate offices. By doing this, it would increase the chances of their buy-in to the whole option solving approach. The ‘pictogram’ would stretch each person’s intuitive-creativity as much as possible.

When you look at his five alternatives in our Latest Example, you will notice one is: “Option D: Clarify Purpose and Vision.” This happened to be the collective wisdom choice of all the participating executives in my workshop. So, apart from the possibility that his key team will arrive at an even more appropriate choice, in the sixth ellipse, he already gained some strong advice from these workshop participants.

With his “pictogram” ready to go, I encouraged him to give himself and his team some emotional distancing time, when the moment arrived at a key team event. Emotional distancing would allow their intuitive-minds to compare with their life- long experiences recorded in their 3 pound brain and then revisit their choices.

Once they revisited their pictogram, they shouldn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it, but rather go with their best intuitive instincts and formulate an action initiative right-away, while the issues and options are still fresh in their minds. Which option would you have chosen?

Their action initiative will consist of:  What –their choice, How –necessary steps to accomplish, Who –will be involved, When –steps will be completed, Where –to go for allies for assistance.

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 in two weeks time: “Peeling the Onion: Increasing my Organization’s Performance through clarifying our Purpose and Vision?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through


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