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The Innovative Mindset by Elena Imaretska, John Sweeney

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Chapter 11Reframing

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Of the Big Five, reframing feels like one of the most physical behaviors. Perhaps it's because when you're on stage improvising, a great way to get a new perspective on what is going on is to physically change your position in relationship to the other improvisers. Or perhaps it's because reframing is all about seeing the situation differently.

In the late 1980s I was fortunate enough to hear National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones give a presentation that focused on the metaphor of changing lenses. A specific part of his presentation showed a photograph of a pinecone. He then used a different lens on the same place to reveal a pine tree, and then a different lens on the same place to reveal a pine forest—and finally, another lens on the same place to reveal a mountain range. It impacted me and empowered me to remember that even if we can't change the reality of the situation, we are always in control and in charge of how we look at it. We always have the option to choose to look at a situation differently. And that's what the process of reframing entails.

I have used reframing in both my work with clients and in my practice as an entrepreneur as a way to gain a new perspective and to find ways around obstacles. I have found it most useful when searching for a new way to accomplish a goal, even when a seemingly real obstacle presents itself and the ...

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