As we wrap up 2018, I would like to share with you a strategy I like to call “Option Z.” So many times in life we’re given options: Do you want fries or a salad with that? Do you want to grab a coffee or a beer? Do you prefer smoothies or milkshakes?
What if we stopped thinking about decisions in terms of “Option A” or “Option B?” At @HumaxaInc , we try to do that each and every day. What is “Option Z?” It’s the option no one thought of or pays any attention to. It’s weird. It’s abnormal. It doesn’t fit in with any the options out there.
When I was in junior high school (age 13), the students at my school were lucky enough to be able to walk to the nearby high school to take foreign language classes. The philosophy was to provide more options to junior high students and perhaps give them a head start learning a second (or third) language. I remember the guidance counselor asking me directly: “Hey Carolyn – do you want to try learning French? Spanish? German? Or Latin?”
I responded: “I want to learn Japanese.”
I’m sure the counselor thought to himself “Oh, no. We’ve got one of THOSE ones on our hands. I feel sorry for her parents.” But to me, this seemed totally normal. It was “Option Z” – the thing no one was thinking about or asking for. Japanese wasn’t one of the options. I think the guidance counselor responded with something like “Well, Carolyn, I’m sorry. That’s not possible. Japanese isn’t offered.” I’m sure I replied, with an mischievous grin, “Yeah, we’ll see about that.” 😊
Do you think we lose our natural tendency to consider “Option Z” as we get older? When we are trying to solve real business problems? When we’re faced with a workforce that’s disengaged or when it feels like key employees are about to leave? Do we only give them choices like Option A or Option B? And if we do, is there a way we can get out of that rut and come up with an Option Z?
At @HumaxaInc, we constantly strive to break into “Option Z mentality.” It’s not just a “nice to have” – it’s mission critical. We’d love to hear how you fight to break into an Option Z mentality as well.
We at @HumaxaInc wish you a very warm and prosperous New Year. A huge thank you goes out to all of our 2018 friends and supporters… and please don’t forget to look for #Option Z!
Carolyn Peer, CEO & Cofounder of Humaxa