What is reframing? How does it work?

Many times here where I am I encounter the entrenched way of thinking that ‘culture’ and ‘society’ say a thing has to be that thing, and not another way or process or idea or belief, instead. During the first part of the pandemic I listened to podcasts from lectures of J. Krishnamurthi, highly recommend, just google to find out links, which checks out with something else I read, today.

Reframing, in other words, letting go of a particular belief that is deeply entrenched (and therefore never questioned) can open up a space for something new to fall into your life. And see it. Your next big idea can be happened upon when you clear your mind, in these important ways.

But, concretely, how do you do that?

Reframing is one tool.


What is reframing? How can you do it?

So what is reframing?

According to The Innovation Framework, ‘What is at the heart of reframing [is] examining and reassessing entrenched beliefs to discover new possibilities.

Here is an excerpt from their blog post, ‘Reframing: A tool to Think Differently’: (https://theinnovationframework.com/reframing-a-tool-to-think-differently/)

‘A lot of people think that disruptive innovation means throwing everything away and starting over on a blank slate. But that is not true… Innovation becomes easier when you split tradition from its conventions. So, how do you get started on a Reframing exercise? It begins with selecting a topic you want to examine.

‘Step 1: Determine a Core Belief (~10-15 minutes)

‘Each team should identify the most prevalent, long-held belief related to the topic on which they’re working. Only pick one limiting core belief.

‘Step 2: Define Supporting Notions (~15-20 minutes)

‘Each team should identify four supporting notions by asking:

  • Why do we believe this core belief?
  • What makes this core belief true?
‘Step 3: Define Opposite Supporting Notions (~15-20 minutes)

‘Next, each team should turn the four notions on their heads:

  • Start with the literal opposite of each notion.
  • Make each notion extreme.
  • Select the most interesting one. It does NOT have to be true, logical or even possible. If the team members are laughing, you’re on the right track.
  • Select one opposite per each supporting notion.
‘Step 4: Construct a Reframed Core Belief & Solution Space (~15-20 minutes)

‘Define a reframed version of your core belief. This should not be a direct opposite of the original core belief. Do this by asking:

  • Considering these four new notions, what would be our new core belief?
  • If this was the world in which we lived, what would be our core belief?


To wrap, the authors say, define a solution — a concept that might activate this core belief, to bring it to life. Full article is at their site. The link is ‘Reframing: A tool to Think Differently’: (https://theinnovationframework.com/reframing-a-tool-to-think-differently/)