PreRamble: As we strive to find ways to describe what we do – the particular slice of value that we bring to the world – it is always energizing to find a snippet out in the universe — that fits.
Today, when I popped over to Seth Godin’s blog, like I do every day (highly recommend it) — there it was — short and sweet — the perfect description/raison d’etre …
“The framer asks the original question, roughs out the starting designs, provokes the new thing.
The polisher finds typos, smooths out the rough edges and helps avoid the silly or expensive error.
Both are important. Unpolished work is hardly worth doing.
Polishing is relentlessly reinforced in school and feels safe. Framing is fraught with risk and thus avoided by many. Too often, we spend our time on a little more polish, instead of investing in the breakthrough that a framer can bring.”
I’m a framer. My current unofficial descriptors are “Catalyst/Strategist/Writer” … but each of these really only skirts around the nut of the actual best thing that I bring. My best thing is framing stuff up – that messy, up-front process of attempting to capture and articulate a new thing.
The framer is the first stop on the innovation assembly line – the place where you dump all the bits and pieces of what you think your vision might be, and we sort it out and see what you’ve got. The framing process is a combined interrogation, soul-searching, coaching and ideological hug-fest.
Framing lets the pieces hang together, intermingle. I like to convene all the pieces on one-page; I call it the Overview Platform. The Overview is a visual snap-shot mash-up of archeological diorama, concept brief, fuzzy blueprint and inspiration board.
We scour the framed assembly of pieces for clues, relationships, synergies, gaps, resonance and insight. We iterate. We ponder. Iterate some more.
We discover hot spots of clarity and new energy that can crystalize the vision and propell it forward.
The Take-Away: Framing enables us to articulate/communicate a vision first to ourselves, and then to others.
Thanks for framing that up so nicely, Seth!