Reframing helps you see a situation in a different way. It can help you escape from short-term thinking by challenging your mindset and perception models.
By using this technique, you can generate new ideas and gain a fresh perspective on problems. Let’s take a look at what reframing is, and how you can harness this technique to maximize your creative productivity.
What Is the Reframing Technique?
Michael Morgan conceptualized the idea of the reframing matrix as a simple technique that helps examine problems or challenges from distinct viewpoints. In other words, individuals or groups place themselves in the mindsets of different people and imagine the solutions the latter might come up with. It involves critical thinking and brainstorming to generate divergent possibilities.
To reframe a problem or issue, you need to begin with an open-ended problem statement that describes the situation and identify all possible factual or psychological perspectives to address the problem. The process is described in greater detail below.
Download: Reframing Matrix by Wondershare EdrawMax for Windows (Free)
Step 1: Write Out Your Problem in the Grid
Reframing can stimulate new ways of thinking and spark creative breakthroughs. To get started, draw a simple four-square grid or matrix. In the middle of the grid, place a problem (or question) that needs to be answered or solved. By drawing up a reframing matrix, you can transform vague, ill-defined issues into a more well-defined problem with a larger perception range.
A question may be related to a specific product, service, or process. For instance, a problem statement could be formulated to find out the reasons behind low conversion rates for a product, or why a project isn’t performing up to expectations, and more.
Step 2: Decide Your Approach and Key Perspectives
The next step would be to decide how to approach your problem based on popular considerations such as user needs, project goals, overall product strengths and weaknesses, and more.
There are several approaches to the reframing technique. You can use the 4Ps approach, the PPPC approach, or the Professional’s Approach, depending on the nature of the problem.
The 4Ps Approach
This approach is more product-centric. The 4Ps in this context are listed in greater detail below.
Product Perspective: This helps you to get an overall view of your product or service and evaluate assumptions about what is and isn’t feasible.
You can analyze a product or service by asking a series of questions that lead you to more creative and unique approaches when it comes to developing design, pricing, packaging, delivery, and overall user experience strategies.
Planning Perspective: By breaking down your current processes, project plans, or strategy into a reframing matrix, you will easily be able to find out the areas that need improvement.
Potential Perspective: The potential perspective reminds you of the tangible opportunities that could be leveraged to achieve your project goals. It will help guide your decision-making by capturing insights into present conditions that need to be improved, possible future scenarios and their impact, and the actions you can take to address them.
This is helpful to influence decisions concerning growth, scalability, team structuring, production processes, and increasing strategic reach.
People’s Perspective: When it comes to creating a product or service, research is crucial for teams. User research allows you to learn about the people who will be using your products, how they can benefit from them, and what they’d like to see in a product or service. Using the tool can also help you gauge the behavior and thinking patterns of team members involved in the project.
The PPPC Approach
The PPPC approach is very useful for teams. It helps you understand the interlinked relationships of perception, motivation, and capabilities with processes, technologies, and cultural forces. The perspectives considered under this framework are:
People: It focuses on the people and teams involved in the project, and their capabilities and expertise, since they are responsible for planning and implementing solutions.
Processes: This focuses on how work is done, the tools for doing the work, and how operational processes can be optimized to complete the solution in less time.
Platforms: This focuses on the software and other tools that support individuals and teams in doing their day-to-day tasks efficiently.
Culture: The cultural perspective is all about how you can collaborate and work together when solving problems to achieve project objectives and goals.
The Professionals or Occupations Approach
The Professionals approach helps you analyze problems and challenges from the viewpoints of different specialists or stakeholders who have unique areas of knowledge and expertise. You can approach a problem as a CEO, or as a legal, finance, or human resources professional, depending on your area of expertise.
This approach works well for individuals and teams and can produce a variety of responses, which could then be refined into the right solution.
Step 3: Gain Deeper Insights With Brainstorming
Use the matrix to generate new insights into your problem. Start by brainstorming a list of different factors that relate to the problem from each given perspective. You can do this on your own or involve your team members in the process.
If you’re doing this as part of a team, try dividing your team into groups. Each group can represent different viewpoints, such as customers, marketing managers, or technical experts.
Ask each group to think about the problem from their perspective, and to brainstorm factors related to the problem. Compile the results and place them in the appropriate quadrant of this decision-making tool.
Step 4: Reframe Your Approach Based on Your Findings
During the reframing process, you would’ve discovered some of the common problems and pain points of the stakeholders and their suggestions. This will help you decide on the technology or solution(s) to be adopted.
After you’ve noted down the various viewpoints, the next step would be to evaluate your findings, reframe your approach, and decide on a course of action.
How Does Reframing Influence Creative Productivity?
The reframing technique allows individuals and teams to view, evaluate, and alter the elements of their project, business, or creative ideas. It provides a blueprint for developing visionary strategies based on productive and creative thought processes.
It can bring about a change in thinking patterns: The reframing matrix is a tool to be used to help you look at things differently. It provides an opportunity to move away from habitual ways of thinking, behaving, and perceiving a problem or challenge.
It allows for greater innovation: Through the use of the reframing technique, you can bring people with a diverse range of professional backgrounds into the mix to contribute meaningfully to innovation and problem-solving.
It provides solutions for short-term and long-term challenges: You can capture the key characteristics of the problem, including scope, benefits, requirements, and constraints. It can help you and your team collect information on opinions and views that can possibly be reviewed for future issues or similar problems.
Reframing: Think Outside the Box
Reframing is one of the easiest, yet most effective techniques that can be used to improve your productivity and creative output, and works well in almost any situation.
This straightforward tool has numerous advantages and can be applied in both big and small ways throughout the decision-making process. So, the next time you find yourself stuck, use the reframing technique to tap into different perspectives to devise creative solutions.
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