Freezing Options

Freezing Options

Is it better to have one option, few options or many options? As important as these questions are, answering them is not as easy as it sounds. We say it is better to select from a big heap of options than from a small one. In facing threat we have two options: fight or flight. As I was watching the video below it became evident to me that the option of fighting the source of fear is frozen. The passengers in the plane facing terribleΒ turbulenceΒ had one choice- to fight their fear with prayingΒ to God to save them. Flight was not an available option.

Being in a physical plane or an imaginary one may lead to the same conclusion. I visualize social groups as a plane in which individuals conform to the majority and thus freezing many of the options available to them. Let us think of the video example again. The passengers shared the following:

Β·Common fate

Β·Similarity of behavior as passengers were all praying for their safety

Β·Proximity

These three factors have been discussed in literature. Limiting choices can lead to conformity among groups because they have a common and purposeful goal: to survive. In a bee colony we find conformity because of limited option on the roles of the queen, the drones and the workers. Even though huge numbers of bees live in a colony yet it runs smoothly because of strict role definition.

A second great advantage of freezing options is focusing. We experience this daily while watching TV with hundreds of channels. If you have one TV set and each member of the family wants to watch a different channel conflict starts. This is one evil of having options. The second evil is even if you are alone at home you keep using the remote control moving from one channel to another. You end up watching almost nothing.

The value of freezing options is having more engagement. We see this in nature. In bees colonies every bee is engaged doing its job. Again, we have different options of engagement and having many options. Is it different from having many opinions? Which level of engagement to take especially when this engagement expresses an opinion? For example, you are reading this buzz right now. You could leave reading it (I hope not), or continue reading. When you finish reading it you would favor it, tag it, share it, write a comment and recommend it. There are other options available. It turns out that engagement itself follows a power law in which one or few options have the real power and many options have low power and the remaining one have moderate power. In the bees colony the power is in the hands of queen and the rest have to do their jobs in coordination with others. They have this option: conform or die.

Freezing Options

This could explain why Pareto's Rule exists. Few employees (20%) do most of the work (80%) and many employees (80%) do only (20%) of the required work. Performers limit their options and therefore their engagement is high. They are the oxygen of the work while the nonperformers are the nitrogen-like. Like air composition it is almost 20% oxygen and 80% inert nitrogen. Does the atmosphere composition relate to the working atmosphere?

To focus we need to limit options sensibly. Bees teach us how. Several groups go in different directions foraging. Once a group finds food they start dancing so that other groups may join. Or, if needed, they send smells to alert far away groups. Now, options are limited. All bees go for the food source. They help each other, but then each bee knows what work it has to do.

Having many options is great for their initial screening mindfully. Once an option is reached the group dynamics work. All conform and only limiting the options will lead to focusing and engagement. We can't be Jack of all trades. Trading in our selected option is then the way to go. Those employees who don't conform are like the drones in a bees colony- show them the way out.

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Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#19
Ali, your comments are as interesting as your articles. We will all be better beBee bees as we learn more about bees, thanks to you. 🐝

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I am quoting what Sara Jacobovici commented on another buzz by saying "Differences, in this case based on gender, add to the potential success of the challenge at hand if used interrogatively and not divisively". This is exactly how I feel towards differences in opinion here.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
Thank you Franci Hoffman and let me be honest by asking would I have cared to write about a topic in which there is a total agreement? This would be a boring practice. Timing is crucial. We need to select First wisely and then commit our resources. Simply, we don't have the leisure of time and other resources to keep changing directions. Imagine four passengers in a car and each asking the driver (leader) to go to a different place, where would the driver go? A family wants to spend a vacation If every member of the family selects a different place where would they go? That is why the bees excel in doing- scout in different directions for food, inspect three of more possible choices by "expert bees" and then narrow the choices to one. Again, it comes back to converge and then diverge.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
I am glad that you said something that you never said before . I see a different photo of yours in the thumbnail. Is this to highlight the difference?:))) Honestly, I enjoy differences. My point here is first diverge and then converge. If you wish to buy a pair of eye glasses and the salesperson shows you many options then you need to narrow down your options; else you shall not buy. The salesperson helps in this by asking questions first to limit your options and then show you the models that fall with your area of interest. Likewise; an eagle scans from higher elevation all its possible victims. It can tell from a distance which victim is healthy ans then determines its "target". The eagle then goes straight to the selected victim. Scanning first and then focusing. A school of fish has no leader. Leadership rotation among flying birds is well known. I don't say I am correct or that you are incorrect; I am saying we are widening the "scope of opinion" before we may focus our thinking. This is correct and therefore I am happy to differ, Pamela

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Ali, I feel there will be some varying opinions here. I agree limiting options may leave no room for confusion and the straight and narrow path will be easy to follow. With that said, every role must be well defined and all bases covered. Sometimes the Jack of all trades may be needed to pick up the pieces from something gone awry. Fascinating article and thank you for sharing. To be a beBee bee is to be.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
William King would contribute buzzes here.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#11
William King- Wonderful to meet you here dear friend. Love your comment and what you wrote " The difference seems to be "clearly defined roles" were the 80/20 role is applied". Yes, the reverse of the Rule may work in certain situations and as you outlined very well in your studious comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
Edward Lewellen- first you are most welcome to meet you here dear friend. This comment of yours is amazing, beautiful and powerful. I love this segment " But, the mind hates confusion more than a wrong choice". Your comment opens many windows for new ideas. Thank you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Sara Jacobovici- great comments as this one is comes from great minds. Your comment reads my intentions in writing this buzz 100%. This is reflected in your writing "When freezing an option, what we can be doing is holding that potential in a state of readiness to be used at the most opportune time". That is precisely why I titled the post freeze and not remove. This is one of the shortcomings of the Blue Ocean Strategy in my humble opinion. This strategy calls for remove, meaning removing the potential as well if an opportunity arises to use them. Not only humans adapt; ideas may too. There are rigid ideas and flexible ideas and in between the extremes lots of ideas await their time. As for the great part of your Ws questions it is amazing the examples you offer. I wonder if animals and even plants don't need to ask why because they have the intuition to answer it without asking it!!! I was once on a flight that started burning before landing. But, as you know, I am still living.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #5

There is a paradox in your buzz Ali Anani. Your thoughts create a variety of options in terms of which directions these thoughts can take us, your readers while your statement offers an invaluable perspective, "To focus we need to limit options sensibly." What I would take from this is that we need to have access to a variety of options and choose which need our focus and so sensibly and responsibly limit from all the options available to us. .As we learn from nature and its processing to function at its optimum, we must also recognize that we have the capacity to transcend our primary function of survival and look at the quality of that survival. All animals can respond to the questions: What (identifying/recognizing) – was that sound? Where (direction/location) – do I go for shelter? When (time) – I have to go find a mate. Who (other) – do I choose to fight? Which (selection) – is my pack? How (action) – will my cub get food? Only humans ask Why - was I born, am I here, did this happen to me, do I feel this way, are there stars in the sky? Asking why when focusing and choosing will make the difference on the outcome of which options we choose. The last thing I wish to add is that in each option there is potential; how the options are used or misused is crucial to its outcome. When freezing an option, what we can be doing is holding that potential in a state of readiness to be used at the most opportune time. By the way, I couldn't watch the video of the severe turbulence. I am a very nervous flyer. I often let the flight attendants know ahead of time that I am and they are great to check in with me. One phrase that I depend on from them to use is; "It's turbulence, very uncomfortable but nothing dangerous." I still pray, not only because I feel out of control but I pray that the pilots get the help they need because they have more control than I do.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

A friend has just sent me a private message wondering why I keep referring to bees and beBee. I answered him because upon focusing on bees I am drawing many lessons for businesses and life. Next time I am writing on bees habits and human habits and what lessons we may derive. Focusing allows exploring in more depth.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
@Anees Zaidi- I agree fuly . Your comment has just awakened me to a good post idea. Thank you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
debasish majumder

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
#1 Juan Imaz- I am glad you find the buzz useful. Yes, you are doing that in a way. For example, beBee allows bees to share on two or three hives only. Yes, focusing is needed> A good example that comes to my mind now is drivers who use the mobile while driving. W don't want that.

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