Peeling the Onion – What lies behind the most valuable option our organization could pursue today to increase its people performance effectiveness: using Option Solving?

Our most recent posting focused on the above question and then the executive group agreed to pursue Option B – ‘To hire more people and build strong teams.’   However they felt Peeling the Onion would be appropriate way to gain more insight into the precise nature of doing that. Being now fully conversant with option solving, they could proceed to use the technique to uncover this sub-set of likely options.

The rational question they chose for this subsequent exercise came through as: “What would be our best alternative today to hire more people and build strong teams with earlier Option B; considering 1) hiring budgets, 2) current hiring approach, 3) mix-and-match for optimal teams, and 4) effective communication to hold teams together?” Again they reviewed a range of considerations, but they agreed to go with these four listed so as not to make their task more complex.

The participants were then ready to produce two more “bookends,” which would again function as their yin and yang extreme possibilities. Those bookends would then focus their intuitive minds on creating the company’s most appropriate set of sub-options. These bookends are vital to prevent their fertile intuitive minds from wandering in all sorts of directions and losing focus.

Bookends that were selected came out as: “Use outside contractor” and “Adopt computerized system for hiring and team building,” both of which the group felt were its company’s least likely options – see our Latest Worked Example.

Again, they had to produce at least five realistic options to stretch their likely alternatives as much as possible. It is perfectly okay to produce more and that is what they did, although, in this case, they left the sixth possibility open in case they came up with another sub-option overnight.  These five can be viewed in our Latest Example of which one was: “Option D – Learn more about team building and then apply.”

Once this new “pictogram” was available, with its range of five-six options, their leader requested that they engage in a further stint of emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow the members’ intuitive minds to sub-consciously review their span of options. Members chose to meet the following morning with a possible additional option and then make their choice.  What choice would you have made?

We can assure you that this was done and so they had another tier of their strategy for getting their people component to perform better. Again, they could decide to pursue a further tier of peeling the onion or go ahead and devise an appropriate action initiative,

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 week’s time: “What is our optimum requirement before pursuing expansion?” 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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