Was Mark correct in what he said to get Jack to continue investigating the problem?
Mark discussed the issue with Jack in a respectful and complimenting manner while providing Jack with one last chance at tackling the design problem. In this conversation, Mark provided greater motivation to help Jack find a single design mechanism. Knowing that Mark looked solely to Jack to provide a solution and he failed to render one may have left Jack feeling unsettled. Mark’s last ditch effort in asking Jack to name another worker who may have a chance to come up with an answer may have nudged Jack enough out of his comfort zone to think “out-of-the-box” and arrive at a possible solution.
Should Mark just have given up on the idea rather than what he said to Jack?
Giving up on the idea does not serve the best interest of the company and its employees as well as other stakeholders. Essentially, due to declining sales to the government due to reduced spending, the vitality of McRoy Aerospace is in question. This one problem of designing a single mechanism for all four sets of doors equates to an entire new sales channel for McRoy Aerospace in the commercial segment. By lowering the life-cycle cost specific to maintenance costs, McRoy has the opportunity to enter the commercial aviation aircraft business.
Should Mark have assigned this to someone else rather than giving Jack a second chance, and if so, how might Jack react?
I agree with Mark allowing Jack a second opportunity to find a solution to the problem. If Mark handed the assignment off to someone else, than Jack may feel dejected.
What should Mark have done if Jack still was not able to resolve the problem?
Considering the impact to the company, Mark should consider forming an internal team to brainstorm for ideas to resolve the issue and if this fails then an outside consultant may be required to assist in the design problem.
Would it make sense for Mark to assign this problem to someone else now, after Jack could not solve the problem the second time around?
I would not consider handing over the project to any one person. At this juncture in consideration of time and necessity, this challenge may best be accomplished through a team effort.
What other options, if any, were now available to Mark? Internal team or outside consultant.