How to better frame a problem (Analysis of Business Problem)

Bilikisu Ojediji Written by Bilikisu Ojediji · 1 min read >

Having a poor problem frame can lead to a variety of undesirable outcomes such as; prolonging the problem, exacerbating its negative consequences, creating new problems, increasing the cost of addressing the problems, wasting resources on unnecessary and unsuccessful interventions and decreasing the odds that the problem will actually be solved.

When something unexpected happens the brain automatically starts to search for ways to make sense of it, the mind does so by bringing past experiences and relationships from a decision makers interpretative repertoire to the surface. An interpretative repertoire provides decision framers with set of characters, entities and relationships that can be used to make sense of the current situation. The reasons why problem framing are so difficult is because people generally look for evidence that confirms their frames rather than seeking out disconfirming data, one can quickly discard frames that are not as helpful and avoid investing more time, money and energy into solutions that are doomed from the start. To help access your decision frame, try to find someone who will honestly help you find disconfirming data. People aim to present their best selves, people do not want to appear unintelligent or incompetent to others, therefore, people are prone to framing situations in ways that preserve how they want to be seen and how they feel about themselves rather than framing situations in ways that acknowledge mistakes or the unintended consequences of their actions.

For leaders, seeing a situation in a particular way is not enough, the effectiveness of the frame must be discovered in action or low-cost tests of the assumptions comprising that particular frame. The human brain has at least two different methods for tackling problems and which method dominates depends on both the individual current situation and the surrounding context. These two models are conscious processing( represents that part of the brain that you control) and automatic processing (we don’t have control over it or even feel it happening) and these two models tackles problems differently.

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