Q:Why is it that Option Solving is more effective than more traditional approaches to resolving issues?

A:Option Solving makes full use of and properly focuses our intuitive capabilities. It makes sense of complex rafts of information and synthesizes patterns of behavior, relative to our own levels of experience. From this we are better able to fathom out what might be the likely outcome of a particular situation.  The results are even more powerful when drawing upon the different instincts of a wider group of people. When we rely upon our rational minds to resolve issues, as typically taught from an early age, we do not access the same power to arrive at an optimum conclusion.

Q: Why do you call Option Solving a leadership tool?

A: Quite apart from drawing upon people’s wisdom and instincts, which is what natural leaders do, Option Solving at its best also natuarally involves wider circles of people. Workplace people crave communication, which comes best in the form of involvement. Involvement is synonymous with good leadership.

Q: The resulting solutions from Option Solving too often appear so obvious after the fact and so easy to produce: why is that?

A: To start with, our culture teaches us that nothing is really worthy unless we’ve struggled over it. Also, it is true that outcomes always seem that much more obvious with hindsight than when we’re faced with them at the outset.  In fact, so many situations appear rather perplexing at the outset. Furthermore, when we use our rational capabilities for resolving issues we make it particularly difficult for ourselves because so many things cannot be solved by logic or through numbers. Economists spend mountains of time trying to reduce everything to a numerical solution. On the other hand, when we use our intuitive capabilities, we approach issues with years of “hidden” experience. Additionally, we can use our intuitive capability for synthesizing so many strands of information: as well as allow our minds to take small or large leaps, along with making many trade-offs, which makes issue resolution so much easier. In fact, it appears almost effortless when we use a coherent approach like Option Solving.

Q. How is Option Solving different from conventional brainstorming?

A. Option solving has a number of features ahead of typical brainstorming, including:

  • Option solving makes a purposeful distinction between our rational and intuitive minds (see book).  It draws upon our rational mind’s ability to ask insightful questions and our intuitive mind’s ability to make insightful assessments and judgments of particular situations.
  • It establishes a natural provocative framework for encouraging the intuitive mind to produce creative options.
  • It casts all participants with an equal voice during deliberations, whereas in brainstorming participants are conditioned to defer to the most senior or experienced person to lead the way. If that senior or experienced person is not especially dynamic or creative, so goes the brainstorming group.
  • There is no “how to” discussion  about any of the options until they are all on the table. This avoids scuppering creative moments.
  • Considerably more effort goes into framing the initial question with option solving.
  • There is much better use of “peeling the onion” and “emotional distancing” with option solving (see book).
  • Option solving is a much more definitive technique: with distiinctive principles and practices (see book).
  • Option Solving does not require people to rationally argue their case for a particular option. This is particularly important when less articulate or seasoned participants are involved. Such participants may have interesting ideas and intuitions: in brainstorming they possibly wouldn’t have the talents to argue the merits of their case  consequently would be sidelined. Possible outcomes like this are discouraged in option solving.

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