Find a 3rd and better way

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What is the value?

When faced with a choice between two strategic options, you may find that, while each may be relevant and supported by the data, both feel less than ideal. They seem to be ‘either-or’, on opposite ends of an imaginary scale. In such instances, don’t choose, rather look for a 3rd and better way.

Why is it important?

In our work with clients, we often face the uncomfortable choice between options. Should we recommend that they enter a new market which they have committed to and perhaps have been working at? Or should they stop in their tracks? Perhaps we have been working with them to shape a new offering or an organisational solution which promises greater agility and speed to market? Should they launch or go back to iterate some more? These are often choices based on implicit assumptions, made by the management team (and us!) during our work e.g. assumptions about what we value as opportunities, how we made decisions or define a desired impact. The fact is that assumptions, as much as they may be helpful at the outset of a new engagement, are only that – an assumption.

What will it look like when I see it?

When our work with clients is based on a partnership – to seek, find and help create new value – the questions we ask, the insights we discover, the honest conversations we have, can all lead to re-examining long-held beliefs and assumptions. That is what we witness when this value is practiced. Our clients and us proactively look to something better, we watch for implicit assumptions, challenge with appreciation for the context in which they were made, and together…find a 3rd and better way.

What will it look like when I am not seeing it:

We resort to order taking – a client states what the challenge is, we take it at face value and quickly turn our attention to find a solution to it. It may seem efficient at first, but we soon find that the client’s understanding of the problem was incomplete, the solution we identified short-sighted and the value we envisaged we could generate…unrealised.