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You've got Options - but do you need them?

I have been a great propagator of options in restaurant menu’s – options of half plate and full plate dishes or half veg - half non-veg pizza – because it reduces wastage of food.

Options help customers choose. Options are what created success for chains like Subway (what a joy it is to go and select just the things you want in your Sub)

Even as a customer, I like options – options in price, colour, and experience – so that I can make a selection that’s personalized and suits the need. I thus assume options empower customers.

In many ways, we practice that in our consulting. We give clients options and prefer to curate a solution that addresses the multifaceted need, hierarchy of value, outcome, experience and cost. Our area of work, especially around assessment, impacts people directly and one has to be careful about what is created and deployed. A set of multiple meetings/conversations help us and the client to collectively zero in on a solution.

More and more clients now ask for one recommended solution vs 2-3 options. They also want to meet just once and give a brief problem statement. Most seem to get impatient when we ask our usual questions like: 

  • Why do you want to assess? What’s your purpose?

  • What will you do with the outcomes?

  • At an individual level, what values will this assessment derive?

  • What do you want to assess?

  • How do you know these parameters predict what you are looking for?

  • How will you know ( in 6-9 months, for example), that the assessment worked for you?

  • If it’s a large number of people, would a stage-wise assessment work better than to have everyone experience the full assessment program?

If I was selling soaps and you tell me you need a bar of soap, that should last for 25 days without dissolving, should smell mostly like a flower, that you need xx boxes of it. I will have no questions.

But assessing people is not the same as selling soaps, there are so many factors to be considered while assessing people. It is not an off-the-shelf product that you are buying. In my world, it’s about options, co-creation, and about crafting a solution that’s apt. (The science of prediction, being a constant, unchanged priority).

What’s the value of “options” in your world?


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