Friday, February 3, 2012

Frames and Methods

Let's say that someone you know has done something that you believe has seriously harmed you. What should you do? If you ask an attorney, they might addres your concerns from whether a tort has occured and what can be proven and what are your damages. You pastor might have a different view. He might ask, "What would Jesus do?" and suggest that you go to the person and express your feelings and seek reconciliation. Your best friend might tell you just to forget about it and that it isn't worth the emotion energy that you are wasting stewing about it.

So who is right? Well, it really depends. But what I want to focus on is that the lawyer, the pastor and the friend all may believe that they have your best interst at heart when they are giving you advice, each is approaching the problem from their own particular framework. And when we approach a problem from a narrow framework, we miss opportunities.

Consider a different situation in which you are trying to decide whether to buy long term care insurance you your parents. You ask your spouse who is an engineer, your brother who is a statistician and your best friend who is a health care provider. The engineer does an elaborate spread sheet that lists the pros and cons of long term care and then compares the costs and benefits of the top companies. The statistician takes a different approach and calculates the probability that you will use the coverage and the estimated benefits that might be paid and weighs these against the premium. The health care provider says, "Don't even think about going without long term care, all the people I see who have it are really glad that they bought it."

So who is right? Again it depends. But the point is that each person used a method to come to his or her conclusion, but there are many methods that lead to different conclusions.

While not a panacea, the Six Hats Thinking Strategu is an effective way to approach thinking that reduces the problems of narrow framing or limited methodolgy that results in much more robust full colored thinking.

The next Six Hats Class scheduled in Richmond starts of February 8th at 8:00 AM  until 9:30 AM at the Days Inn near Chesterfield Town Center. The class will run for six weeks. The cost is $300.
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