What company chain will give us the most rapid leverage for sales re-alignment and growth: using Option Solving?

Some time back your editor was talking with a marketing person about their company’s fortunes. Sales were very slow and everyone was looking for answers to turn things around. Your editor suggested that he get a team of diverse people together from his company, who could make valuable contributions to a discussion about this issue. The more these participants were representative of different chains (sections of the company), the more likely they would come up with an optimum solution. Your editor then challenged him to have a crack at the issue beforehand using Option Solving, such that he could intelligently lead a group discussion when the moment came.

So, without further ado, he talked through the option solving approach and then set about producing a rational question to challenge his intuitive mind. This question proved to be: “What company chain will give us the most rapid leverage for sales re-alignment and growth: considering 1) some chains are better than others, 2) everything has become rather bureaucratic, 3) need to win senior executive support, and 4) will need a lot of focus, commit-ment and perspiration?” There were other considerations, too, but he was happy to go with the four listed, so that his decision didn’t become too complicated.

Now your editor challenged him to produce two “bookends,” which would function as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then force his intuitive mind to focus on his company’s most realistic set of options. Without these bookends his fertile intuitive capability would tend to wander over all sorts of red-herrings.

Hence, the bookends he selected were: “Don’t interfere with current chains” and “Completely re-align all chains,” both of which he felt were his company’s least likely options – see our Latest Worked Example.

He was then encouraged to produce at least five realistic options to potentially stretch his choices as much as possible, although, when he comes to such an exercise with his own representative group, he should side with their options first, otherwise they are unlikely to play ball. You will notice he came up with six.  Look at our Latest Example and you can view his six options, one of those proposed was: “Option D – Map-out, re-align and fire-up technical support and service chains.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating his range of six options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder his array of options, now they were evident. Your editor encouraged him to set his pictogram aside for a couple hours and focus on something else, while his intuitive mind subconsciously reviewed his possibilities. By doing this, he would directly see the benefits of doing the same with any “brains trust” he put together to weigh this important issue.

When he subsequently returned to his face-down “pictogram,” he turned it face-up, studied it for a few moments refresher, and then made his intuitive choice. Which one would you have chosen? He was now ready to try the same option solving approach with any group that he put together.

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 most valuable approach our Internet marketing organization could take today to increase its performance effectiveness?” 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 major company’s best option to quickly Realign with Customer Expectations: using Option Solving?

A fairly recent chat with a regular acquaintance revealed that he was most concerned about the future of the major corporation where he worked. He was in a key marketing position, so was well aware of its market positioning and current market trends for its products. He was pondering what, if anything, could be done to turn his company’s fortunes around.  Since the company leadership was dominated by financial people, it tended to look at everything through a fiscal prism rather than at is overall marketing approach.

Your editor’s natural reaction was to introduce him to the option solving approach, since it would provide a good degree of clarity on the possible range of leadership options open to his company: if its executives were open to listen. Based upon this scenario, we quickly got started on framing an appropriate rational question: which turned out to be: “What is our best alternative for re-aligning more with customers so they will buy more from us: considering 1) our organization has become highly inward looking, 2) budgets-resources are extremely tight, 3) our customers are buying from other sources, and 4) we need to rapidly reverse the tide?” There were several other considerations, but he chose to stick with the four listed so that his decision approach didn’t become overly complex.

He was then encouraged to produce two “bookends” to function as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. Such bookends would focus his intuitive mind on his company’s most realistic set of options. So, the bookends he selected were: “Just stay as we are” and “Seek outside infusion of capital,” both of which he felt were its least likely options. Because our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, bookends help keep them focused and on track – see our Latest Worked Example.

Your editor then encouraged him to produce at least five realistic options to potentially stretch his executives’ creativity as much as possible. You will notice he came up with six.  Look at our Latest Example and you can view his six options, one of those proposed was: “Option B – Bring in outside consultants to develop an objective turn-around strategy .”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating his range of six options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind, and those on the executive team, to sub-consciously ponder their array of options, now they were all in place, while he/they purposely went about doing other important things for the next couple of hours. It will also enable him/them to be more objective when he/they returned to this pictogram to make his/their optimum choice.

When he returned to his face-down “pictogram” sometime later, he would turn it face-up, study it for a few moments refresher, and then make his intuitive choice. Once he made that choice, it was important for him to stick with it: when he shared his option solving approach with those executives who were open to listen.

They would then get their opportunity to consider and perhaps introduce additional options as they saw them. He would give them some emotional distancing time and create a decision moment for them to reach a consensus choice. Once done, they would then put together an associated action initiative, while it was still fresh in their minds. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his/their shoes?

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 chain will give us the most rapid leverage for sales re-alignment?” 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 collaboration option with a fellow professional: using Option Solving?

At a recent conference a couple of fellow professionals were talking about collaborating around a survey one of them (A) was using. His opposite number (B) showed a lot of interest, but it was some time later that A discovered that B was using the comparable Myers Briggs (MB) survey by looking at his business card. It had the designation MBTI on it. ‘A’ had made a commitment but sensed the possibility of B using the occasion purely to satisfy his curiosity.

Afterward A spent some time talking with your author about the prospect of B reviewing his online survey. He was concerned about B not giving it serious consideration because he had invested so much time in becoming a licensed user of MB, and therefore would just go through the motions. He wanted to find an option for backing away from his offer without either side losing face. So the idea of option solving was discussed and used by A to resolve his dilemma.

We fairly soon started framing an appropriate rational question: which turned out to be: “What is my best option for sharing a new survey with another fellow professional: considering 1) he is already an MBTI practitioner, 2) he is pursuing his own brand, 3) his sincerity might be in question, and 4) he could offer another outlet for A’s new survey?” We came up with several more considerations, but he chose to stick with the four listed without his decision approach becoming any more complex.

He was then encouraged to produce two “bookends” to function as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. Bookends would focus his intuitive mind on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected were: “Not pursue” and “Offer a contract,” both of which he felt were his least likely options. Because our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, bookends help keep them focused and on track – see our Latest Worked Example.

Your author then encouraged him to produce at least five realistic options to stretch his creativity as much as possible; which you will notice he did.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those five options, one of those proposed was: “Option E – Let him test it out on a couple people he knows and trusts.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating all five options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder these options, now they were all in place, while he purposely went about doing other important things for the next couple of hours. It will also enable him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice.

When he returned to his face-down “pictogram,” he turned it face-up, studied it for a few moment refresher, and then made is intuitive choice. Once he made that choice, it was important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it was still fresh in his mind. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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 five week’s time [vacation is due for your author]: “What is the best way to re-align with our customers’ expectations?” 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 a home room rental: using Option Solving?

A friend in our apartment building was recently thinking aloud about the bedroom left empty by a son who had moved away for his first career position. He already had another vacant room from another son who was away at college, so that could be used for visitors. So your editor introduced him to the idea of option solving to figure out an optimum solution. He liked the idea, so we set aside some devoted time to clarify his issue.

After some time explaining the option solving approach and benefits, we set about framing an appropriate rational question: which turned out to be: “What is our best option for renting room at home: considering 1) have to do under the building radar, 2) not waste space in cash-hungry city, 3) current casual tenant moving out, and 4) extra income is welcome?” We came up with other considerations, but he felt it was best to stick with the four listed, without overly complicating his decision approach.

Now I invited him to produce two “bookend” choices to function as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. These would facilitate his intuitive mind to focus on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected were: “Not rent room” and “Sell-off extra room,” both of which he felt were least likely possibilities. Since our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, bookends help keep them focused and on track – see our Latest Worked Example.

He now had to produce at least five realistic options to stretch his thinking as much as possible – you will see he produced six.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those six options, one of those proposed was: “Option F – Departing casual renter – pay as he goes.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating all six options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder these six options, now they were all in place, while he purposely moved on to other things. It will also enable him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice.

He was going to sleep on his options overnight and make his choice as soon as he awoke. Once he made that choice, it would be important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it is still fresh in his mind. Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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 weeks time: “What is our best collaboration option?” 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: Optimal professional office option- Option F: “Bring in a professional CEO to run practice, turn it around – I just remain Owner and Practice:” using Option Solving?

Our last option solving challenge dealt with a professional friend who is experiencing business and growth difficulties and wants to figure out his best course of action in the circumstances.  At that point he chose option E- “Bring in a professional CEO to run the practice.” This brought him an opportunity to utilize Peeling the Onion to figure out his sub-optimal approach for doing this.

Already being fully aware of the technique, he set about producing a new question: “What is our best approach to utilizing a professional CEO: considering 1) will be initially disruptive to practice, 2) as owner will have to possibly play second-fiddle, 3) insure CEO pays for self, and 4) CEO have right incentive to make it work?” There were other considerations, but he felt it was best to stick with four new ones, without overly complicating this secondary approach.

Again he produced two “bookend” choices to serve as his new yin and yang extreme possibilities. They would enable his intuitive mind to focus on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected this time were: “Not do it” and “Owner bail-out of practice at earliest point,” both of which he felt were again least probable outcomes. Since our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, bookends help keep them on track and focused – see our Latest Worked Example.

He now had to produce at least five realistic options to again stretch his mind- options to an optimal degree – you will see he produced six.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those six options, one of those proposed was: “Option C – Owner &CEO act as co-CEOs – agree on weekly objectives.”

With this new “pictogram” now in place, indicating all six options, it was now time for him to engage in further emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder his six options, now they were all in place. It will also enable him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice. Once he made that choice, it would be important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it is still fresh in his mind. He could of course go through a Peeling the Onion cycle again as a means of fleshing out a further tactical approach toward resolving his practice re-imagining issue.

Which sub-option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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 weeks time: “What is our best option for a home room rental?” 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 optimal professional office option: using Option Solving?

A professional friend is experiencing business and growth difficulties and wants to figure out his best course of action in the circumstances. Fortunately, he was already aware of the option solving approach, so we were able to get right to it.

He promptly set about  producing a rational question to spark possible options, which turned out to be: “What is my optimal professional office option: considering 1) local demographics have changed, 2) Great Recession still has lingering impact, 3) staff are borderline, and 4) beginning to think about retirement?” He came up with other considerations, but felt it was best to stick with four key ones, without overly complicating his ultimate decision dilemma.

We immediately got him to produce two “bookend” choices to serve as his yin and yang extreme possibilities. These would hem-in his intuitive mind to concentrate on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected were: “Just let office fritter away” and “Find partners to invest in practice in a significant way,” both of which he felt were least probable outcomes. Our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, so such bookends help keep them on track and focused – see our Latest Worked Example.

His next challenge was to come-up with at least five realistic options for stretching his options to an optimal degree – you will see he produced six.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those six options, one of those proposed was: “Option F – Bring in a professional CEO to run practice, turn it around – I just remain owner and practice.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating all six options, it was now time for him to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder his six options, now they were all in place. It will also enable him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice. Once he made that choice, it would be important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it is still fresh in his mind.

Which option would you have chosen, if you were in his shoes?

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 weeks time: “Peeling the Onion: What is my most reasonable professional office option?” 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 increasing survey participants: using Option Solving?

How many times have you heard about people’s marketing woes? Almost as many times as you’ve heard about the fish that got away, no doubt? Your writer was listening to John the other day, when he shared his difficulties in getting people to respond to his survey activities. He was trying to figure out how he could increase the number of survey participants. So we discussed the option solving approach, which seemed to resonate with him.

Pretty soon we set-about producing a rational question to spark possible options. After discussing his situation, his question became: “What is our best shot at increasing survey participants: considering 1) have exhausted “committed” listing, 2) word-of-mouth is best marketing, 3) need the strongest branding metaphor, and 4) participants relate to their output?” Although we produced other considerations, John learned it was best to keep it to the latter four key ones without overly complicating his decision dilemma.

Now we had to get him to produce two “bookend” choices to serve as his yin and yang extreme possibilities, so as to hem-in his intuitive mind for concentrating on his most realistic set of options. The bookends he selected were: “Keep going with current mode” and “Find financing for expansive publicity program,” both of which he felt were least likely to occur. However, his bookends would serve the purpose of nudging his intuitive faculties into selecting more realistic but challenging options. Our intuitive minds can so easily be distracted, so these bookends help keep them on track and focused – see our Latest Worked Example.

John’s next challenge was to come-up with at least five realistic options for stretching his options to the maximum degree – you will see he produced six.  Look at our Latest Example and you will see those six options, one of those proposed was: “Option F – Create real-life client stories that resonate.”

With his “pictogram” now in place, indicating all six options, it was now time for John to engage in some emotional distancing. Emotional distancing would allow his intuitive mind to sub-consciously ponder his six options, now they were all in place. It also enabled him to be more objective when he returned to this pictogram to make his optimum choice. Once he made that choice, it would be important for him to stick with it and create an associated action initiative, while it was still fresh in his mind.

Which option would you have chosen, if you were in John’s shoes?

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 weeks time: “What is my most reasonable professional office option?” 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)