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)

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“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)

What is my best option for getting Mary onto an optimum career track: using Option Solving?

On more than one occasion in recent times, your editor has discussed situations where people in key positions are not performing in the way they should. In one instance, a client had Mary acting in somewhat of an immature way; although he wanted to retain her talents and commitment within his company. He thought she had potential, if it could be developed in the right way.

Since he was fully aware of the option solving technique, your editor encouraged him to apply it in this instance. He therefore created his initial rational question, which came through as follows: “What is my best option for getting Mary onto an optimum career track; considering 1) she likes to be somewhat different, 2) she’s a relatively ambitious person, 3) she doesn’t take criticism too well, and 4) she’s a rather proud person?”?” Again, he was using 4 primary considerations, so as not make his overall question too complex for our general sensibilities.

He now created two yin and yang “bookends.”   These would serve as extreme unlikely possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus his intuitive faculties toward his 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 surfaced were: “Demote or transfer her to another area of the company” and “Send her on a personal sabbatical for 6 mths,” both of which were unlikely possibilities in the circumstances. However, they would again serve the purpose of inducing more realistic possibilities into his thinking – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

Once his bookends were in place, they presented him with the necessary focus to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of available possibilities. He ended up producing six, which aided pinpointing all likely and realistic possibilities. He then turned to emotional distancing to help choose an optimum solution. Feel free to review his potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-B: Send her to Center of Creative Leadership in Colorado or Self-Reliant Ldrsp – latter in the wilderness.”

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 –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 him to utilize his intuitive mind to the fullest extent in scanning his sub-conscious range of options: against so many similar life experiences and choices, thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Once he made that choice, he was advised to stick with it and then draw up an action initiative involving WHAT, HOW, WHO, WHEN and WHERE to go for allies, for advice, new ideas and encouragement.

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 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)

Peeling the Onion: Choosing Option E from 05.04.18 – What is the most attractive way of encouraging Sheila to find a professional partner to jointly take over our practice: using Option Solving?

In our most recent blog example, where the professional practice owner was now left with considering how to minimize the potential damage from that senior associate’s departure, he decided to try figuring out ways to retain this senior associate. Once more, he turned to option solving to help make an optimum decision by means of peeling the onion.

This meant taking his overall choice of Option E and considering some subsets to further refine his conclusions. So now he turned to option solving once more and created yet another rational question, which came through as follows: “What is the most attractive way of encouraging Sheila to find a professional partner to jointly take over our practice; considering 1) is maybe determ-ined to pursue current new opportunity, 2) may be apprehensive about staying with us, 3) may not be clear about upside, and 4) may be reluctant to lure new pro to our practice?” Again, we’re using 4 primary considerations, so as not make the overall question too complex for our general sensibilities.

Again, this office leader now dared to create two more yin and yang “bookends.”   These would serve as extreme unlikely possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus his intuitive faculties toward his 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 surfaced were: “Make a hard-ball proposition” and “Offer her a low-ball price for buying the practice,” both of which were unlikely possibilities in the circumstances. However, they would again serve the purpose of inducing more realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

Now they were in place, they presented the office leader with the necessary focus to produce at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of available possibilities. Once more he produced six, which aided pinpointing all reasonable possibilities. Again he turned to emotional distancing to help unearth an optimum solution. Feel free to review his potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-C: Collaborative effort to recruit and establish new future partner.”

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, 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 allowed him to utilize his intuitive mind to the full in scanning his sub-conscious 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 made that choice, he was advised to stick with it and then draw up an action initiative involving WHAT, HOW, WHO, WHEN and WHERE to go for allies, for advice, new ideas and encouragement.

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 getting Mary onto an optimum career track?” 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 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)

What is my best option for on-boarding and retaining a new associate: using Option Solving?

Two weeks ago your editor described his meeting with the leader of a local professional office. The office had done pretty well over the years, but had been through some hard times since the recent Great Recession. This had placed a cap on many things and put many normal things on hold while its team weathered the storm. Now things were beginning to turn around, it was time to rethink repositioning for the future.

Changes included the hiring of a new associate who was about to replace another associate who was moving on. And so the office leader needed to formulate a new rational question, which turned out to be as follows: “What is my best option for on-boarding and retaining a new associate; considering 1) another premature departure could be catastrophic on staff morale, 2) recruiting a new professional is a tough business, 3) lose momentum and morale yet again, and 4) an opportunity for me to recalibrate my leadership approach?” Now we were back to four primary considerations, so as not to make the decision too complex. The composite question allowed for as many dimensions as possible that could affect a positive outcome.

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

The yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Let new person sink or swim” and “Use Golden Handcuffs contract for 2-3 years,” both of which seemed unacceptable possibilities. However, they again would serve the purposes of sparking more realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example on the blog site.

With these in place, they gave the office leader the required creative, intuitive thrust to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch the number of possibilities. In this case six were produced, which helped pinpoint all the possibilities. They then turned to emotional distancing to help flush-out the best optimum solution. Feel free to review their potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-E: Hire two associates to work in a pair and reinforce each other.”

With their “pictogram” potentially ready for a decision point, they now pursued that emotional distancing: which can 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 their intuitive minds to sub-consciously review their full range of options against so many of their 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 minimizing the “damage” from a 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)