A Second Opinion can be briefly summed up as as answering the question ‘what are my options?’. This often follows on from earlier received advice, one’s own thoughts or, sometimes, more (contradictory) advice.
No one can know in advance whether a decision or a chosen direction will be the correct one – what you can do is to make an effort to gather as much relevant knowledge as possible. That you don’t know something is not a problem – that you could have known it in hindsight IS a problem.
A client can have several reasons for asking for A Second Opinion and here are just a few examples from practise:
– ‘what is the best solution for me?’ The client has several solutions for a problem, either internally or externally and wants active assistance to work out which of the solutions works best for his/ his company’s specific situation. Which elements play a role and perhaps have not been included in earlier suggested solutions?
– ‘what am I missing?’ The client is less interested in factual opinions and much more in the underlying reasoning and arguments employed by the second opinion giver, as well as why each of the arguments has been valued in a certain way.
– ‘what is a sensible next step?’ The client has a conflict and wants help working out which would be the most sensible next step to take.
– ‘is this the one?’ The client has a negotiated contract in front of him, ready for signing, it has been checked and signed off on by his legal advisors. But still the question remains “have we forgotten anything?’. The client wants to be absolutely certain, knowing that Groupthink and Tunnel vision are always lurking, ready to ambush.
- ‘why should I do this?’ The client has received advice that appears implementable, but has his doubts and seeks extra arguments as to why he should go with that solution. For this kind of question, in all its shapes and forms, a Second Opinion offers added value. Extra argumentation, fresh ideas, new approaches, and confirmation are the most important benefits. And …with no strings attached….a Second Opinion has a beginning and an end and both are known from the outset.
Since 1991 Thees Peereboom has provided Second Opinions on:
- development of business models
- development of software
- application selection
- supplier selection
- cooperative agreements/ partnerships
- ‘make or buy’ choices
- establishment and format of Shared Services Centres
- In- and Out-sourcing
- media agencies
- advertising agencies
- investors / financiers
- internet businesses