In June 2019, the alternative rock band Radiohead learned over 18 hours of music recorded during their sessions for their album OK Computer was stolen. The hacker reached out to the band with a ransom demand: Give me $150,000 or I’ll release the stolen recordings.
Radiohead appeared to only have two choices from the hacker. They could either pay the ransom or they could let the hacker release their music for free. The band was stuck between a rock and a hard place…
Until they looked for Option Number Three.
Option Number Three
At first glance, you may agree Radiohead only had two choices. It would be easy to see this as the hacker had only given them two choices. Yet, there was an additional option.
Radiohead blew off the hacker and chose to see a third possible option.
Their third option? Let’s release the 18 hours of unreleased music to the fans for £18 on the music website Bandcamp. Fans of Radiohead could buy the unreleased music and bask in their fandom.
Not only would fans benefit from this attempt to extort Radiohead, but the nonprofit Extinction Rebellion is also going to benefit from the hack. Radiohead has committed to donating all proceeds would go to support this organization.
They had a problem presented to them (their music was stolen). Two options were presented (pay the ransom or the music will be released). They saw a third option (release the unreleased recordings and benefit an organization they support).
What’s Your Option Number Three?
When a crisis presents itself, you will be tempted to look at the first one or two options presented to you. These options may not be good options but they’re there. You may even believe they’re the only options you have.
Some of these options may be:
- Layoff half your staff or shut down the plant
- Stay in a dead, lifeless marriage or get a divorce
- Quit your job with no backup plan or stick out an abusive boss
Each of these scenarios appears to only have two options. Yet, if you dig down, you will see at least one option number three appears.
- Layoff half your staff or shut down the plant – What if instead of laying off your staff or shutting down the plant, you look at an alternative option? You may have the option of senior-level staff taking a pay cut until the business is solvent again. Or you might look for ways to increase productivity so more product and money are flowing through the business.
- Stay in a dead, lifeless marriage or get a divorce – Marriages are tough. There’s no doubt about that. But there’s more than two options when you’re frustrated with your spouse (and, really, I don’t consider the second option an option except in extreme circumstances). Instead of looking at your marriage as dead, look for option number three. Could you look to see where the bright spots of your marriage are? What made you fall in love with her in the first place? Cultivate those things again. Work on rebuilding the love that was there. You can do the hard work to build some loving back to your marriage even if your spouse is unwilling.
- Quit your job with no backup plan or stick out an abusive boss – I’ve often said an abusive boss is much like an abusive relationship. You can find yourself feeling worthless and are stuck in a job you aren’t qualified for. It’s hard to get the courage to leave an organization but without a backup plan, it can be even harder. But you might not have to stick it out with an abusive boss or quit your job. Your option number three might be to look for a transfer to a new department with a new boss. Or you might consider trying to work with your boss to find a way to become civil with one another.
Option number threes are all around you. You only need to dig a little deeper beyond the surface. When you dig, you’ll see you have plenty of options.