TAKING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE CAN LEAD TO STUNNING BREAKTHROUGHS IN ANY INDUSTRY, WRITES TINA SEELIG IN INGENIUS.
Very thought provoking for the real first step of any innovation effort: What is the question? Read the whole article for good insight on the importance of context and framing.
What is the sum of 5 plus 5?"
"What two numbers add up to 10?
The first question has only one right answer, and the second question has an infinite number of solutions, including negative numbers and fractions. These two problems, which rely on simple addition, differ only in the way they are framed. In fact, all questions are the frame into which the answers fall. And as you can see, by changing the frame, you dramatically change the range of possible solutions. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, "If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes."