The Creative Problem Solving Re Frame

You need some problem solving!  For days, this thing has been rattling around your brain; maybe its a personal problem, a marital upset, a business conundrum, one of those soap operas your kids thrust you into sometimes.  You want to help; more than that, you want to SOLVE the thing and get some peace. 

Thats when you get creative, and re - frame, in a problem solving game. 

Re - framing used to refer to old pictures, but now it can mean mental ones.  And reframing a problem means to look at it at a different angle.  When youre stimulating your creativity glands doing that, just the act of re-thinking sometimes helps you toward an answer. 

Heres an example: imagine your problem as a picture puzzle.  Break it down mentally, or better still, on paper, into its components.  And line them all up. 

Well, heres A:  the way it all started.  Heres B: what its led to since A.  Heres C, D, E, F: the repercussions of B.  Heres G and H: what might happen if we dont fix this thing.  

So if we can go back to A and discover the link somewhere between A and B that was the cause and effect, maybe we can arrive at a different answer . . .

Wow, congratulations, you just used problem solving skills to reframe. 

Instead of gazing at this gigantic mystery box of a problem, youre breaking it down into its components, and examining them one by one, to see root connections, reasons, motivations, elements that make up the components.  Youre seeing more than that youre seeing what each element gives you and the people it affects and what it takes away.  

In other words, youre analyzing the problem.  Mathematicians call it analysis, scientists like to call it mental reconstitution and teachers sometimes call it unpacking.

Well, thats what youve just done; youve placed unpacked the big mystery box with all the puzzle pieces, youve laid them all in front of you, and youre figuring out why each one is there, how they relate and what can be done about any one of them. 

Now, youve got it all on paper, or youre using the kids Legos, or you have it on a screen in a graphic but somehow youve got it in front of you, all its elements. 

Now for the fun part start throwing pieces of the puzzle away.  Thats right, take away elements from it.  See how easy it would be to solve any of these individual parts, if they were all that existed. 

Ask a friend ask several to join in this game.  Play what if with it what if we had resources, more money, more personnel, a better outlook? 

Now the finale put it back together. 

Sherlock Holmes once said that if you have the details of a thousand problems at your fingertips, it is odd if you cant solve the 1001st.   He was right about that; its at this point that you should see several solutions to the problem that you didnt see before.

Way to go!   You have just re-framed yourself a solution in problem solving.

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