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How Reframing A Problem Unlocks Innovation

How Reframing A Problem Unlocks Innovation
Editors’ note: The following is an adapted excerpt of InGenius (Harper One) by Tina Seelig. 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. Mastering the ability to reframe problems is an important tool for increasing your imagination because it unlocks a vast array of solutions. A classic example of this type of reframing comes from the stunning 1968 documentary film Powers of Ten, written and directed by Ray and Charles Eames. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Another valuable way to open the frame when you are solving a problem is to ask questions that start with "why."

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