Reframing problems to think differently
Reframing is a crucial for changing your thinking and opening your mind to new possibilities. Look at the example below:
Employees working in a high-rise office building complain that the lifts are slow and frame the challenge as:
- How can we get a faster lift? (expensive, disruptive and likely to be rejected)
Is that the right problem to solve?
Reframing might be:
- How can we spread lift usage across the day to avoid bottle necks at rush time? (staggered worktimes, lunch breaks – doable and likely to be accepted)
To reframe the questions, try the following:
- Flip the question: How can we change the workday times so that people aren’t using the lift at the same time?
- Expand the question: How can we spread usage of the lift throughout the day?
- Make the user the subject: How can we get employees use the stairs?
- Change the context: How would other organisations deal with this problem?
- Make it unlikely: How can we eliminate the need for lifts?
Try asking different questions about your challenges and see if you can reframe your problem.