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Deborah Tannen Teaches Us How To Frame Questions, Problems, Stories--and Ourselves.


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February 22, 2006

Deborah Tannen Teaches Us How To Frame Questions, Problems, Stories--and Ourselves.

Bruce Nussbaum

When it comes to innovation, framing the problem is often the most important part of the process leading to the design of a unique, game-changing, paradigm-shifting solution. You hear the term "framing" all the time now in the innovation space. Even CEOs and managers are using it. In fact, one cardinal rule of innovation is don't always accept the problem handed you but reframe it to maximize the changes you can make in the space. For example, it isn't about a better looking MP3 player, it is about controlling and managing your personal music library with ease and pleasure--iPod.

So if you want to learn about framing, go to where the concept originated--in academic circles. Framing is hot and the most accessible linguist on the subject of framing is none other than the best-selling auther/professor, Deborah Tannen. Her latest book, "You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation," continues her examination of how we frame we other in conversation that began with a dissertation and found popular life in "You Just Don't Understand What I Meant!"

Tannen isn't the first academic in the field of framing. Erving Goffman was writing about it decades ago. But her books are not only serious, but great fun to read. And which daughters aren't interested in how they frame themselves to their mothers--and vice versa. I just wish Tannen does her next book on fathers and sons. Deborah?

11:14 PM

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