Ow does framing help leaders solve problems?
Imagine that you are writing a letter or email to an author. For each of the four (4) passages below, write about 100 i?? 200 words that thoughtful and topic-relevant extend the discussion of each passage. Reference in APA citation one (1) peer-reviewed scholarly article that is relevant to Business Management or Applied Leadership. Very important: no books nor websites are to be used. Use that one (1) article to extend the discussion of all four (4) passages.
In a paper written at MIT Sloan School of Management, Deborah Ancona tells a great story about framing:
A small military unit was sent on a training mission in the Swiss Alps. They did not know the terrain very well, and suddenly it began to snow. It snowed for two days. There were large drifts everywhere, and it was hard to see through the clouds and blowing snow. The men considered themselves lost. They were cold and hungry, and panic began to spread through the unit as they thought of what would become of them. But then one of them found a map in his pocket. Everyone crowded around trying to figure out where they were and how they could get out. They calmed down, located themselves, and plotted a route back to their base. They pitched camp, lasted out the snowstorm, and moved into action. Of course they didnt always hit the landmarks they thought they would, so getting back involved still more sense-making. They got help from villagers along the way, and shifted their path when faced with obstacles. And then, when they finally got back to base camp, they discovered that the map they had been using was actually a map of the Pyrenees and not the Alps. The moral of the story? When youre tired, cold, hungry, and scared, any old map will do. The soldiers in the story were able to survive using a bad map because they acted, had a purpose, and had an image of where they were and where they were going, even though they were in many ways mistaken. The point is that in sense-making, the map is only a starting point. One then has to pay attention to cues from the environment, incorporate new information, and in so doing turn what may be a poor map into a useful sense-making device. There are many reasons why a poor map may be good enough. First, a poor map may actually enable leaders and teams to move ahead with assurance toward goals that might seem unattainable if their view of the world was actually more accurate. Under some circumstances, accuracy may immobilize, while partial reality may motivate. Second, enabling people to get some sense of a situation, calm down, and act may be more important than finding the right answer, which we can never find anyway. Third, in a rapidly changing environment speed may trump accuracy.
Framing a problem helps a leader keep the problem in context. Keeping a problem in context, a leader can concentrate on the problem, instead of being misled to focus on the wrong problem. A leader should start out with a definition of the problem. Identify the problem by asking specific questions and obtaining information from people with direct knowledge of the issue. That definition should be challenged and modified as it pertains to the original problem. By stepping back and looking at the broad picture will help a leader analyze the problem and will enable the leader to regain focus on how to get to the root cause. When the root cause is found, then the correct solution can be identified and acted upon.
When leaders are able to frame problems or visions in different ways there is a much higher probability for success. Framing can change how we look at and solve a problem. It is suggested that by changing the frame, you dramatically change the range of possible solutions. This is so important to a leader who wants to succeed in problem solving but also by allowing others to help in the process. A great example on an easy way to look at framing:
A young priest asked his bishop, May I smoke while praying? The answer was an emphatic No!
Later, when he sees an older priest puffing on a cigarette while praying, the younger priest scolded him, You shouldnt be smoking while praying! I asked the bishop, and he said I couldnt do it!
Thats odd, the old priest replied. I asked the bishop if I could pray while Im smoking, and he told me that it was okay to pray at any time!
Framing is the art of managing the context and meaning of what is communicated. Often, communication details gets misconstrued and that has a tendency to create conflicts. Thus, framing helps the leader to strategically send the intended message to the team, thereby facilitating smooth functioning of the organization. It is a very important skill for leaders to possess since it helps them the most in complicated situations to ward off chaos or fear of uncertainty in the organization. Framing if used at the right time can help the organization effectively guide their employees towards the achievement of goals or tasks without losing track. This can be done by making the employees feel empowered and respected. That would motivate them to give their best in order to achieve the goals or tasks. Thus, in my opinion it will help the leaders solve employee problems related to low productivity, lack of motivation and lack of interest.