Refining Your Way To Success

Excerpts & Ideas from Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think


Last week we covered the excuse personas that get in the way of innovation. The reason for having this segment in between the time that you come up with your themes from the ideation rounds and the time you begin to refine those ideas, is to help you be cognizant of the mindsets that prevent you from actually keeping an open-mind along the entirety of the process. However, now that you have addressed your excuses and faced them head-on, you are now ready to look at those themes and dive deeper into the Reframework as highlighted in Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think.

We will be highlighting the Reframework through a series of posts on the Innovation Channel in an effort to spread this way of thinking. The key to these techniques, however, is to trust in the process, so follow us from the beginning as we cover all of the steps every Friday for the upcoming weeks all leading up to the Chief Innovation Summit in NYC on December 8-9. We hope to see you there!


Once the excuses are handled, we go back to each theme and give people a constructive opportunity to voice their concerns about the idea that has emerged for each theme. This step forces you to think through what you would add, what you would take away, and how you would pivot if asked to do so. The prompts in this section are to force one of the following:

  • Add something to an existing idea to help make it better
  • Remove something to simplify it
  • Pivot or change it altogether

This step can be conducted in a number of ways:

  • Assign people a category (add, remove, or pivot) and ask them to provide one idea in that category
  • Go through each category and allow people to contribute to each
  • Ask people to blind-vote on features to add/remove/ pivot
  • Go around in a circle and add “yes and” features or elements of the experience to build on ideas.

The point of this exercise is to build back up the themes into singular ideas/concepts that could stand on their own, and then quickly remove features that might be unnecessary or misaligned with the theme. This will happen naturally in group settings where with enough time (roughly 20-30 minutes) they will land on a final concept. In an ideal world, there will be whole teams using the Reframework and when that is the case, there will be 3-5 concepts that are presented by each team. The final feedback loop is then created by asking all listeners to provide comments and questions to each team that presents. The ultimate result is 3-5 concepts that are generally well received by everyone who has participated.


The goal of the Reframework is to come up with ideas and get unstuck. So, technically, we’re done. But I added one last step because ideas are nothing without execution. The last step doesn’t even begin to get into what it takes to execute an idea. The point of this section is to dip the toe into the execution part of the process and help people figure out one next step to move from idea to implementation—and to help us do this, we think about our “Allies and Ammo.”

Allies are the people in your life—such as family, friends, colleagues, mentors, experts, thought leaders, and so on—who you know can help you bring an idea to life.

Ammo is what you need from them—such as time, advice, introductions, products, hugs, and so on—to help make the idea happen.

Make an Allies and Ammo list, and then make a timeline for when you will accomplish the tasks necessary to realize your idea. Then, buddy up. Find someone—a colleague, friend, or life coach— to hold you accountable and help you keep moving forward when the fears or blocks threaten your pace.


Read next:

Coca-Cola: How Innovation Keeps a 128yrs Old Brand, Young Everyday