Reframing Situations to Generate Solutions


Thanks to Catherine Steeves (University of Guelph), Catherine Davidson (York University) and Barb McDonald (Brock University) for an excellent session on Sense Making & Solving Problems: Leveraging the View “From the Balcony”. They talked about Olman’s work on Reframing Organizations – seminal work by Olman that they studied at Harvard Institute for Academic Librarians. Here’s my notes:

Leaders fail for 2 reasons:

they don’t take ppl with them and 2. look at the full situation – with the facts

Major schools of organization thought:

Structures HR Symbolic Political

Leaders need fluency in all 4, but the truth is that everyone has their own “natural tendency” frames – what comes most naturally to you; we all find it difficult to look at situations through different frames. Go to Link to complete the assess/identify your own frame: to determine your natural frame

Structure Frame: How do you know if structure is at the heart of the problem? Bolman’s advice – if the characters change & the plot remains the same, the structure is the problem.

HR frame: looks at the impact & implications for ppl & relationships

The Political frame: a metaphor for this frame is the jungle; the key resource everyone is vying for is power; the organization is formed thru coalitions that are marked by stark different in values, and this leads to conflict; conflict is seen as driving innovation and sparking new ideas; political leaders bargain & build relationships

Symbolic frame – it is the least written

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Stop Whining, please – I can’t hear the people who are trying to move things forward over you

Margaret Heffernan is a woman who knows her way around information Internet environment organizations. She’s not a noted author, particularly for women entrepreneurs, and is Executive in Residence at Babson College.

Continue reading Stop Whining, please – I can’t hear the people who are trying to move things forward over you