The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

A Perfect Example Of Reframing …
September 2, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Cunning, Insight, Perspective, Planning, Point Of View

Part of the job of a planner is to reframe situations.

Taking an issue and offering a perspective that turns a seemingly negative, into something positive.

It means we can turn high-sugar cereals into ‘energy for a kids day’ or expensive smart watches into ‘personal assistants’ who are with you at every turn.

Or until their battery runs out.

Which is after about 24 minutes.

To be honest, reframing is not something exclusive to planners … politicians have done it for centuries, and don’t get me started on how long religious leaders have been doing it.

But the thing is, it’s not lying … it’s simply offering a perspective on a situation that is different to commonly held beliefs so that it can help people consider things in a different way.

Sure, the way many planners use it is clunky and obvious, but occasionally, reframing can be a beautiful thing.

I say this because I recently read this:

Let’s be honest, the author is simply reframing the value – and relevance – of people born in the 1970’s and early 1980’s … but the point they make is a good one.

Whether that is a point that has any intrinsic value in society is open to question [though I think it has, though I also know that I am bound to say that] but for me, you can tell when reframing has been done well because unlike so much in adland, it is not designed to make the recipient feel good, but simply to make them think.

Talking of reframing, the Chinese government have insisted everyone spends the next couple of days ensuring family bonds are strong because they know that is the foundation of a good society. Or said another way, we have 2 days national holiday so see you next week.


38 Comments so far
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I will ignore the news that you are having yet another holiday and just tell you how much I like this post. Not the reframing part, I’ve been a part of that sort of thing for far too long, but for letting me consider the unique perspective I have of being part of both the pre-internet generation and post. Given where I work, that will be brought up at every opportunity going forward.
And I especially agree with your definition of what good reframing is. I had not thought of it like that before and it’s excellent.

Comment by George

Of course Andy is still only part of the pre internet generation.

Comment by DH

Mean but perfectly fair. Though I have heard he no longer requires help to turn his computer on or send an email, which is a major leap forward. Well done Andrew.

Comment by George


Comment by DH

New logo, new feistiness?

Comment by John

dont come crying to me for help when the terminator becomes real. ill fucking throw you to the shit accent robots without a fucking second thought. pricks.

Comment by andy@cynic

I can imagine that George. The poor folks at Mountain View don’t know what’s about to hit them. Ha.

Comment by Rob

You have more holidays than a benefits scrounger in Nottingham.

Comment by DH

Equal amount.

Comment by Rob

With your love of all things wifi, you were born into the perfect generation for you. You might be the luckiest man I know. I hate you.

Comment by DH

I was going to dispute your definition of turning a negative into a positive (particularly when you erroneously cite high sugar as energy-giving) but then I saw there weren’t going to be any more posts this week. Biggest posiitve ever.

Comment by John

It’s not my definition, it’s what brands have been telling parents about their ‘kids juices/cereals/chocolates’ for years. And I agree, it’s not necessarily a positive – but as we all know, perception is everything for the lazy. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

I am much older than the rest of you and often feel it but this post, specifically the point about being in the privileged position of living before and after the internet explosion, has put a spring in my step. Take that millenials.

Comment by Lee Hill

I wonder what the benefit of translating before and after really is? Before’s over. After is all that matters.

On the other hand, inherent human behaviours haven’t changed even if their manifestations have. And that is important to know and/or remember. Sadly, there are many born in the 70s and 80s who overlook that.

Comment by John

dont worry lee, you might be an ancient fuck in age but youre physically a ⅓rd of campbells age.

Comment by andy@cynic

why the fuck is this under doddsys fucking comment. if george has done this to make me look a tech twat i will send 20 birthday cakes to his house. the special ones. he knows what i fucking mean and if he doesnt ill give him this clue. sleeping in the shed.

Comment by andy@cynic

I love this.

[Being under John’s comment, not the comment]

Comment by Rob

I am innocent. Karma, however, is not.

Comment by George

If you can understand why having both perspectives is useful and can articulate it in a way that allows the blinkered to understand it and see how they can benefit from it, it is an advantage. If you can’t, you are just a moaner and there are just as many of those born in the 70’s and 80’s as there are in the 90’s and 00’s.

Comment by Pete

I agree completely Pete and yet I still have this nagging doubt that the fact that the world has changed kind of trumps it all.

Comment by John

Rob is pretty good at it.

(Rob, can you put better search tags on your post, it took me ages to find this)

Comment by Pete

I remember that and agree that it’s very good. Understanding human motivation is the key. But are we really saying that people who don’t remember the pre-internet days have a disadvantage in that comprehension? Beyond the diasdavantage of having less life experience of course – that’s something else.

It pains me to say this, but Rob was right, the reframing has made me think. I’m going to have to go and lie down.

Comment by John

My Mum was brilliant. She’s even made John Dodds concede I may have a point … even God couldn’t do that.

Comment by Rob

Just to clarify. When I first read this post and that statement, my reaction was yes, well said, that’s somethng I’ve always believed to be true.

Trouble is whenever I hear someone say I’ve always believed that to be true, I get worried, because my paramount insight into human behaviour is that people don’t question their beliefs anywhere near enough.

Comment by John

So basically you’re saying “you’re right” until someone else agrees with you. You’re doomed.

Comment by Rob

Yes and no. I question my opinions but obviously conclude that I was right in the first place. I’m humble not stupid.

But I am doomed.

Comment by John

I was going to comment, but Pete’s comment above kinda says it already. So I shall instead post a haiku.

Rob on holiday
As if that is a surprise
China likes days off

Comment by Rob (other one)

Good points, re-framing is a wonderful tool.
I wonder if Apple should use it for their phones that crumble if you give them a nasty stare and seem to attract water like a mini-black hole “designed for you to have an excuse to upgrade as often as you like’
Come to think of it, were you reframing when you describes fraternising with strippers and hookers as ‘research’

Comment by northern

Ssssssssh. That’s supposed to be a secret.

Comment by Rob

I take it all back – spent an evening in the company of ad industry millennials tonight. The concept of flow was touted as a new breakthrough and greeted with total ignorance. And then it got worse.

Comment by John

“We are the only fluent translators of Before and After.”

I’m *definitely* stealing that.

Comment by Phil K.

Good morning Mr Work Shy.

Comment by DH

I want his life. Not his looks but his life.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Let’s just settle on wanting his cash.

Comment by DH

why the fuck is this under billys fucking comment.

Comment by andy@cynic

Some people born in the 50s and 60s might disagree that people born in the 70s and 80s are ‘the only ones’ …

Kids today, eh?

Comment by Ian Gee

I’ve had a momentous crap day today. What made it worse is knowing you’re being paid to be on holiday again. The lack of blog post is my only consolation, but even that isn’t enough. Thanks Rob. Thanks for nothing.

Comment by DH

Glad to help.

Comment by Rob

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