What is my best option for keeping my boss on-board: using Option Solving?

It was only a number of weeks ago that I found myself talking with an executive on how to keep her boss on-board. As part of a sizeable organization, she had done well and risen to a fairly important role. But, the talents she used for rising to her current position were now starting to create political waves. One of those talents was being candid about what needed to be done to keep customers on board – politics be damned! She had lashed out at more than one senior colleague about not stepping up to the plate, in order to help customers out, but now these colleagues were beginning to bite back to defend their reputations.

We discussed the advantages of option solving before taking up her political battles, since it facilitated the “opportunity to think before acting.” With this in mind, her next challenge was regrouping with her boss in an effort to turn over a fresh leaf. After walking her through the option solving technique, she then produced a question as follows to start the option solving ball rolling: “What is my best option for keeping my boss on board; considering 1) HR is convincing him to drop his support, 2) HR is making this a bigger crisis than necessary, 3) I have my reputation to protect, and 4) I’m being closed out due to prior events?” You will notice she alluded to her four most important considerations, even though there were probably others, so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she turned to creating two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Her yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Just resign” and “Crawl back into my company’s favor,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: but at least they would challenge her to think through her most realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she was encouraged to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch her range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced six realistic options for her to consider before turning to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-F: Become an independent contractor.”

With the “pictogram” she had now created, she would now set it aside for some time while she pursued some emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making her choice. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Within 24 hours, maybe an hour or two, she would revisit her pictogram and, after a few moments, make her intuitive choice. She would be wise not to second-guess herself, since by doing so she would likely over-rule her best instincts and make a poor choice. In other words, despite any potential misgivings, stick with your choice and work it through into a doable action initiative. Then stick with your initiative and, apart from some departure points along the way, where new option solving gambits could be pursued, you are most likely to come away with optimum (not perfect) success.

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 my best option for turning XYZ Region around in a timely fashion?” 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 is my best option for handling a political nemesis: using Option Solving?

A particular executive found herself under pressure from another group leader with the likely intent of wanting to take her position. Despite good results within her group, her political sensitivity hadn’t been quite as strong as it should be, consequently political gaffes here and there created openings for others to feel they could handle her job better. So now she was left to figure out what approach she should take going forward.

Once the option solving approach was explained to her, she decided to get involved and developed an initial question as follows: “What is my best option for handling a political nemesis; considering 1) my team is doing pretty well, 2) I have good retirement options, 3) my boss appears to still want me around, and 4) my nemesis wants my position?” You will notice there are four considerations to provide perspective to the question. Even though there were probably others, she kept it to the most important ones so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she turned to creating two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Her yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Just ignore the whole situation” and “Make a deal with my nemesis,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: but at least they would challenge her to think through her most realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she was encouraged to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch her range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced six realistic options for her to consider before turning to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-B: Insert key team member between myself and nemesis.”

With the “pictogram” she had now created, she would now set it aside for some time while she pursued some emotional distancing before making her choice. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Within 24 hours, maybe an hour or two, she would revisit her pictogram and, after a few moments, make her intuitive choice. She would be wise not to second-guess herself, since by doing so she would likely over-rule her best instincts and make a poor choice. In other words, despite any potential misgivings, stick with your choice and work it through into a doable action initiative. Stick with your initiative and, apart from some departure points along the way, where new option solving gambits could be pursued, you are most likely to come away with optimum (not perfect) success.

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 my best option for keeping my boss on board?” 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 is my best option to gain CEO-Executive commitment toward IT integration: using Option Solving?

Over dinner your author was listening to an IT executive acquaintance talk about his challenge of getting his new CEO and executive team on board with the radical approach that would be necessary to integrate their IT system with that of a recent business acquisition. They seemed to be reluctant to seriously consider their options which would make the integration that much more difficult. With a social dinner table not being the most appropriate venue to discuss my acquaintance’s options, your author promised to think about it and get back to him; especially as your author was leaving town early the following morning.

And so your author found himself performing option solving on the plane that following morning, where his initial question came out as follows: “What is my best approach to increasing CEO-Executive commitment toward IT integration; considering 1) they don’t fully understand the issues and the benefits, 2) they are reluctant to make the time-money investment, 3) they do not appreciate the front-end work vital for success, and 4) they have other key business priorities in mind?”  Again, your author used four primary considerations to provide perspective to the question. Even though there were probably others, he kept it to the most important ones so as not to overly complicate his acquaintance’s decision task.

He was subsequently challenged to create two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as his acquaintance’s (NL) extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus NL’s intuitive faculties toward his most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Allow an IT solution to evolve on its own” and “Outline integration blue-print and then return to prior company,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: but at least they would challenge him to think through his most realistic possibility – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here your author had to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch NL’s range of possibilities. You will see where your author, in fact, produced six realistic options for NL to consider before turning to emotional distancing. Feel free to review his potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-C: Lead an executive workshop on issues and outcomes to get their buy-in.”

This “pictogram” was now ready to send to NL, where he would be encouraged to pursue some emotional distancing before making his choice. Emotional distancing would allow NL’s intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of his similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

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 my best option for handling a political nemesis?” 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 would be our best business focus during 2018: using Option Solving?

This writer also has to make decisions about his business focus this year just like everyone else. Fortunately he is lucky enough to have a number of interesting options and so by applying option solving, as he would recommend to anyone else, he will determine what’s best for him, too.

So cutting right to the chase, he immediately set about putting together an appropriate question like: “What would be the best business option for me during 2018; considering 1) wish to work more from home base, 2) want to generate best return for focused effort, 3) want to create valuable asset to leverage , and 4) have limited capital to invest?”  Note the four considerations he came up with, which were among several others. These seemed like the most important ones, so as not to overly complicate his decision task.

Now these were in place, he then set-about establishing two “bookends,” which would operate as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. Those bookends would then help focus his intuitive faculties on his most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Yin and yang bookends that emerged were: “Play things by ear” and “Seek more resources,” both of which seemed the least likely, but would challenge him to think through more realistic ones – see our Latest Worked Example.

He knew he had to come-up with at least five realistic options, to stretch his mind possibilities. You will see where he, in fact, produced six realistic possibilities. It’s just fine to produce more than 5 or 6 and six is what he produced. You can view his six in our Latest Example of which one was: “Option-B: Focus on promoting option solving.” A natural one don’t you think?

With his “pictogram” in place, with its range of six options, he needed to pursue some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of his similar life experiences and choices.

He was resolved to sleep on it and review it tomorrow morning, first thing, and make his choice. His intuitive intelligence would guide him as to his best choice in the overall circumstances. Once that becomes clear, with no second-guessing, he will then put together an action initiative or pursue “Peeling the Onion.”  This will enable him to make headway, while things are still fresh in his mind. Then the rubber meets the road. What option would you choose?

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: “Peeling the Onion: On best business focus for 2018?” 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 would be the best option to handle a potential sensitive customer situation: using Option Solving?

A couple of days ago this writer was chatting with a senior salesperson who was describing a rather sensitive customer situation. The customer wanted to buy from her owing to their various contacts over the years, but the potential purchaser’s company had existing supplier relationships which would need to be surmounted. The two of them worked out a potential scenario for working together, although they would need to figure out the best way to orchestrate it.

This writer introduced option solving as a potential means of figuring out an optimum approach. The senior seller quickly set-about putting together the following question: “What is my best option to handle a sensitive potential customer situation; considering 1) upset prospect’s boss 12 years ago, 2) want to demonstrate fresh, highly valuable approach, 3) is a large international conglomerate with own people development tools, and 4) have a fairly solid relationship with current prospect?”  You can see from these four primary considerations that they provide perspective to the question. Even though there were others, she kept it to the most important ones so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she was challenged to create two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Walk away from it” and “Approach prospect’s boss directly,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: so they would challenge her to think through more realistic ones – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she had to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced five realistic options but decided to leave it open to discuss with her boss before she turned to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-A: Request fresh presentation to prospect’s boss.”

With her “pictogram” potentially ready to get her boss’s input on a sixth option, she would pursue some emotional distancing once she has done that. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you choose?

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 my best option to gain CEO-Executive commitment toward IT integration?” 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)

“Peeling the Onion: Option D – What is our best approach for running monthly strategy sessions with our key leadership team for 6 months: using Option Solving?

Last time we considered a number of options for pulling the company’s leadership together, bearing in mind there are now 2+ new members. In considering their six sub-options they opted for D: Have monthly strategy sessions commencing 3.00pm onwards + dinner.

Since the key team members were more than familiar with the option solving approach, they set about posing a new rational question, which looked like this: “Peeling the Onion: Option D – What is our best approach for running monthly strategy sessions with our key leadership team for 6 months; considering 1) willingness to devote the time, 2) two new members have joined the team, 3) need a compelling purpose to unite the team, and 4) we have a bright future?” We only used 4 primary considerations so as not make such an overall question too complex for our general sensibilities.

They then moved into finding two yin and yang “bookends.”  These would be used as extreme unlikely possibilities and serve as bookends to help focus their intuitive minds toward their most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s imaginative intuitive minds from losing focus away from the issue at hand.

The yin and yang bookends that came through were: “Give one try and then drop it, if members are not sufficiently interested” and “Offer big team bonus if team sticks it out for 6mths,” both of which were unlikely possibilities in the circumstances. However, they would again serve the purpose of inducing more realistic possibilities into their thinking – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

Now that their bookends were in place, they created the necessary focus for producing at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of available possibilities. They ended up producing six to make allowance for their key team to produce their own favored option(s). Such bookends also aided pinpointing all likely and realistic possibilities. They then turned to emotional distancing to help choose an optimum solution. Feel free to review their potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-F: Have an enjoyable social get-together after every session.”

With their “pictogram” potentially ready for a decision point, they 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 –providing you don’t then second guess yourself. If you second-guess yourself, you’ve pretty much lost the whole benefit of option solving.

Emotional distancing would allow them to utilize their intuitive minds to the fullest extent in scanning their sub-conscious range of options: against so many similar life experiences and choices, thereby seeking an optimal solution. Which option would you have chosen?

By using “Peeling the Onion” they were able to dig deeper to discern the best approach to their choice. In this instance, they wouldn’t wait until the following morning. They’d probably decide within 2-3 hours of emotional distancing and then act accordingly.

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 my best approach for handling a sensitive prospect situation?” 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 is our best option for pulling our revamped leadership team together: using Option Solving?

It is not unusual for a growing company to outgrow its existing leadership team and therefore feel the need to revamp with some fresh talent. So, once it moves through those steps and finds itself with a combination of fresh executives and existing members, it senses the requirement to pull them together as early as possible. A case in point is particularly churning through your editor’s mind.

The owners have become familiar with option solving over time and therefore use it to help them decide. Hence they set about posing an initial rational question, which looked like this: “What is our best option for pulling our revamped leadership team together; considering 1) we’re growing nicely, 2) our organization is in good shape, 3) morale is good across the board, 4) we have ambitious intentions, and 5) our executive team is a mixture of new and established players?” Here they used 5 primary considerations, although we normally recommend 4 so as not make such overall question too complex for our general sensibilities.

They immediately set about devising two yin and yang “bookends.”   These would be used as extreme unlikely possibilities and serve as bookends to help focus their intuitive minds toward their most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s imaginative intuitive minds from losing focus away from the issue at hand.

The yin and yang bookends that came through were: “Demand that they work closely together” and “Offer a big team bonus if they show strong collaboration over the next year,” both of which were unlikely possibilities in the circumstances. However, they would again serve the purpose of inducing more realistic possibilities into their thinking – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

Now that their bookends were in place, they created the necessary focus for producing at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of available possibilities. They ended up producing six to make allowance for their key team to produce their own favored option(s). Such bookends also aided pinpointing all likely and realistic possibilities. They then turned to emotional distancing to help choose an optimum solution. Feel free to review their potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-B: Take team away for monthly overnight retreats over next 6 months.”

With their “pictogram” potentially ready for a decision point, they 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 –providing you don’t then second guess yourself. If you second-guess yourself, you’ve pretty much lost the whole benefit of option solving.

Emotional distancing would allow them to utilize their intuitive minds to the fullest extent in scanning their sub-conscious range of options: against so many similar life experiences and choices, thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

In this case, they decided to share their pictogram with their executive team and invite it to produce a sixth option or more. Then they would encourage the use of “Peeling the Onion” to find the best overall approach to their dilemma, as well as buy-in by their team.

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: “Peeling the Onion: What is our best option for pulling our re-vamped executive team together?” 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)