What is my best option for minimizing the potential “damage” from a pending senior associate’s departure: using Option Solving?

Over the past two option solving blogs, your editor has shared some of the challenges of a practice owner who has struggled to come out from under the Great Recession. Last time we considered the best approach to orient a new associate. That associate would potentially replace the senior associate who was about to leave. The practice owner was now left with considering how to minimize the potential damage from that senior associate departure. Again, he turned to option solving to help make an optimum decision.

And so the office leader needed to formulate a new rational question, which turned out to be as follows: “What is my best option to minimize the potential “damage” from Sheila’s pending departure; considering 1) certain clients will follow her, 2) potential hit on office morale, 3) finding a competent replacement, 4) interim loss of revenue and momentum, and 5) with potential new practice horizons?” Now we we’re back to five primary considerations because the situation warranted it, although that many should be avoided wherever possible. Such a composite question allowed for as many dimensions doable so as not to affect a positive outcome.

Once more this office leader was now challenged to create two more yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as extreme unlikely possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus that practice leader’s intuitive faculties toward the most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from losing focus away from the issue at hand.

The yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Kick her out soonest” and “Double her salary to stay,” both of which seemed unacceptable possibilities in the circumstances. However, they would again serve the purposes of inducing more realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

With these bookends in place, they gave the office leader the required focus to devise at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of his possib-ilities. Again he produced six, which helped pinpoint all reasonable possibilities. He then turned to emotional distancing to aid unearthing an optimum solution. Feel free to review his potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-A: Find replacement soonest – then encourage to leave promptly.”

With his “pictogram” potentially ready for a decision point, he now pursued some emotional distancing: which could be a couple of hours, several hours, or end at “getting-out-of-bed-time” the following morning: a great time for an epiphany. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously review his full range of options against so many of similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Once he makes that choice, he should go with it and put together an immediate action initiative while everything is still fresh in his mind. He should also not change his mind since that would override his powerful intuitive judgment. However, in this instance he decided to go for “Peeling the Onion,” so as to provide clarity for his ultimate choice.

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: “Peel the Onion: What is my best option for minimizing the “damage” from a pending senior associate’s departure?” 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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