I was in a meeting today where the topic of options came up for a restructure of a business unit. These sorts of topics don’t normally come my way, but the nature of the conversation was the bit that piqued my interest. It was clear that there was already an option on the table, and because of this option every other alternative was being ignored. In many cases, the other options usually contain good, or better, results than the one being discussed. Getting stuck with the first option that comes your way is not often a great strategy.
Being stuck with just one option can limit the results that can be obtained. What if the ideas of the rest of the team members could be mixed up to produce new ideas? It is often the partial ideas of others that can allow a new and improved solution to be stitched together. I recall working with a group of apprentices and their ‘half-baked’ solutions (as their former manager called them) were able to be linked and this resulted in a quadrupling of productivity. Allow ideas to naturally form and grow.
The time required to generate additional options, or a feeling of a lack of creativity can put people off. If you have read my book Continuous Improvement you’ll know that time is not a genuine obstacle and that creativity isn’t reserved only for the special few. Even five minutes with a pen and paper can yield a whole range of options to consider.
The act of decision making is another reason that people give for sticking with the most obvious (or, first) option that is put forward. There are many ways to evaluate options, to ensure that you get the best result for your business. If you are short of a method then sign up for my free email course and you can learn about the BCS scoring approach.
Generating at least a handful of options can help you to maximise the results you achieve from the change you want to undertake. Engaging your team, becoming efficient at generating options and having a simple method for evaluating them is not outside the grasp of most of us. Take this opportunity to reflect on what you do in your business and see if you can come up with a more effective process for your business when it comes to identifying optimal options for change.
If you want a step by step guide to generating optimal solutions then download a copy of my book Optimised Future State today. It is available on Kindle, iTunes and in paperback.
Have fun exploring,
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.