Peeling the Onion – What is my organization’s best option for enhancing performance to another level: using Option Solving?

Our CEO from two weeks ago did return to his leadership team, introduced them to option solving and his pictogram, and then invited them to collaborate with him on a “Peeling the Onion” exercise. When they reached this point, they chose “Option D – Develop our leadership teams at every level” from the CEO’s pictogram.

So then their rational question became: “What is our optimum approach toward developing our leadership team – Option D – Develop our leadership teams at every level; considering 1) current readiness to lead, 2) current leadership talent, 3) potential leaders at lower levels, and 4) most cost effective approach??”  Although they came up with a range of considerations, they agreed upon this four so as not to overly complicate their decision task.

They then set-about producing two “bookends,” which would operate as their yin and yang extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus their intuitive minds on the most realistic set of options for taking their company to another level. Such bookends are vital for preventing their fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

It was interesting to see the bookends that emerged, which were: “Just allow natural leaders rise to the top” and “Clean house and bring in a fresh leader team,” both of which they considered were their company’s least likely options – see our Latest Worked Example. Now their bookends would prompt a fresh range of options.

Their CEO then challenged them to come up with at least five realistic options, to stretch their thinking as much as possible. In fact their thoughts bubbled-up into six realistic possibilities. It’s perfectly okay to produce more than 5 or 6 and six is what they produced. You can view their six in our Latest Example of which one was: “Option F- Adopt 5 phase Enlightened Leadership approach.”

Once they had produced their fresh “pictogram”, with its range of six options, they were encouraged to pursue some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his team members to draw upon their intuitive minds to sub-consciously review their range of options.

The CEO allowed them a couple of hours of other activities before asking them to return for choosing their optimum option. By doing so he tapped into the powerful collective wisdom of the group. What option would you have chosen?

They did make a choice and then immediately set to work by producing an appropriate action initiative, while everything was still fresh in their minds. That way they could feed off of the mood of the moment rather than rebuild their thoughts at another time.

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 would be the best career track for me?” 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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