What is likely to be our optimal price for product AB: using Option Solving?

Not so long ago, it was interesting to be involved with some executives as they were trying to guesstimate the launch price for a new product: always a tricky affair. Fortunately, they had all been associated with their market and related products for some considerable time, so they had built up a great deal of intuitive instincts about likely market and customer behavior. It’s probably unwise to work with your instincts without a good deal of exposure to related market forces, but, with such instincts, Option Solving can play a big part in your ultimate decision.

After a briefing on the option solving technique, they were willing to give it a shot to test its merits on their dilemma. So, sooner rather than later, they got to work on developing an appropriate question to help flush out the issues. It turned out to be as follows: “What is our best pricing option for a new product we are about to market; considering 1) cost of product development, 2) potential perceived market value, 3) using an online approach, and 4) convenience of access?” They did come up with other considerations, but decided to focus on these key four choices so that they wouldn’t overly complicate their dilemma question.

Armed with this question, they set-about drafting two yin and yang “bookends” to help focus their pricing options. The bookends they chose were as follows: “No charge” and “5x Top $ option.” These most unlikely option framers are designed to focus our brilliant intuitive minds, that can easily be distracted, on figuring out our most likely and realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

With these in mind, they were then challenged to dig-up at least five realistic options for their ultimate consideration.  We’ve found in practice with option solving that when you produce a minimum five options, it stretches the broadest and most creative ideas.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see that we came-up with a sixth alternative – one is: “Option D: X Price.” Clearly this group used actual numbers, but those would create confusion for our readers without knowing the precise context.

With this “pictogram” now in place, showing the range of pricing options, they engaged in some emotional distancing to allow time for their intuitive minds to scan all their other life experiences for similar circumstances. In fact they broke off for a couple of hours to address some other matters and then returned to their turned-over pictogram to reconsider it.

Emotional distancing is the time that their intuitive minds would sub-consciously ponder their six options. Coming back to their pictogram would focus their

intuitions on making an optimum choice. This choice would quickly emerge once they revisited their pictogram.

They did make their optimum intuitive choice and were encouraged to immed-iately set their decision in motion, while everything was still fresh and top-of-their-minds, and figure out a more specific game-plan to implement it. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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: “What is the optimum play for launching a new product?” 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 should be Board Member’s interaction with Executive Director at next board meeting: using Option Solving?

A recent discussion with a non-profit board member revealed his disappointment at orchestrations by their organization’s Executive Director to freeze him out, due to his misgivings about the ED’s approach and overall competence. The ED orchestrated a meeting with the organization’s President and VP to use rules and procedures to require my contact to step down. They sent a letter to him to this effect, which came like a bolt out of the blue.

He was now faced with attending a routine Board meeting, where his exit would be discussed, despite having an incredible record of service on behalf of the non-profit over a number of years. He was struggling with how to deal with the ED at that board meeting; considering how vexed he felt about the whole situation.

As we reviewed his situation, I advised him to consider his options, although we started with an appropriate question to help flush these out. This question turned out to be as follows: “What is my best option for interacting with our Executive Director at our next non-profit board meeting; considering 1) intention to retire, 2) not happy with ED’s recent activities, 3) ED’s perceived intent to move me out, and 4) desire to sustain dignified exit with other Board colleagues?” We did discuss other considerations, but, by focusing on these key four choices, it would not overly complicate his dilemma question.

Moving beyond this question, I then encouraged him to draft two yin and yang “bookends” to help focus his intuitive mind on figuring out his most viable option. The bookends he chose were as follows: “Curse the ED out” and “Be extremely solicitous toward ED.” These unlikely option framers are designed to focus our fickle but brilliant intuitive minds on figuring out our most likely and realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

I then challenged him to produce at least five realistic options for his ultimate consideration. Option solving practice has found that when you produce a minimum five options, it stretches the broadest and most creative view.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see that we came-up with six named alternatives – one is: “Option F: Broadcast disappointment to all willing Board ears.”

With this “pictogram” now in place, I set him onto some emotional distancing to allow time for his intuitive mind to scan all his other life experiences for similar circumstances. I suggested that he should go about his other planned tasks for the day and then sit down for a decision point during the early evening. Emotional distancing is the time that his intuitive mind would ponder his six options. The pictogram would focus his intuition to make an optimum choice, which would quickly emerge when he revisited his pictogram.

I left him knowing that once he revisited his pictogram that evening, he would make his optimum intuitive choice. He should then immediately set the decision in motion, while everything is still top-of-his-mind, and figure out a more specific game-plan to implement it. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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: “What is a business executive’s best pricing decision with a new product?” 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)

What should be the President-Elect’s optimum choice as Secretary of State: using Option Solving?

As this blog goes online, our President-Elect Trump has still not chosen his future Secretary of State; so maybe the use of Option Solving can help him. He has interviewed all the six prime candidates and therefore has a feel for each one. He has plenty of rational and media advice from those around him, consequently has a lot to contemplate and this is where his intuition can be exceedingly helpful.

We would advise him to use a question as follows: “What is President-Elect Trump’s optimal choice as Secretary of State; considering 1) needs someone highly conversant with international affairs, 2) someone who would will bring a lot of credibility with other world leaders, 3) someone who can handle punishing international travel, and 4) should be someone with strong credibility at home?” He will no doubt have other consideration possibilities, too, but by keeping to these top four choices it will not overly complicate his dilemma question.

Now his question is ready, we will encourage him to produce two yin and yang “bookends” for focusing his intuitive mind to determine his most viable option. Our suggested bookends will be as follows: “Stay with current incumbent – John Kerry” and “Pick Presidents Obama or Bill Clinton.” These unlikely option framers are designed to focus our fickle but brilliant intuitive minds on figuring out our most likely and realistic options – see our Latest Worked Example.

Then we would challenge him to formulate at least five realistic options for ultimate consideration. Option solving practice has found that when you produce a minimum five options, it stimulates the broadest, genuine thinking.  When you look at our Latest Example, you will see that we have produced his six named alternatives – one is: “Option C: Current Chair of Senate Foreign Relations – Bob Corker.” By showing him this “pictogram,” since he’s already devoted a lot of time to emotional distancing, he should be in a good position to make the right intuitive choice. Emotional distancing is the time that he has been pondering his choices and the pictogram will focus his intuition to make an optimum choice.

Once his choice is made, he should immediately set the decision in motion while everything is still top-of-his-mind. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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: “What is Board Member’s best option for interacting with the Executive Director at their next meeting?” 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)