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Communicating The New: Methods to Shape and Accelerate Innovation by Kim Erwin

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OBJECTIVES AT THIS STAGE

Define the new space in a way everyone can understand and remember.

Give the concept shape, texture, and accessibility.

Provide clarity around what the proposition is not.

Anyone who pays attention to politics, perhaps especially in election years, has experienced framing in action. Who could ignore Arnold Schwarzenegger's call to his fellow Republicans to not be “economic girlie-men” in the 2004 election? Or Bill Clinton's “It's the economy, stupid” catchphrase of 1992? The framer's ability to use language in a compact, vivid, and memorable way—and to direct our attention towards or away from important meaning—is what makes the technique so effective.

Somewhere between objective description and outright persuasion is a set of language-based techniques called framing. Framing is the intentional description and positioning of an event or concept so as to control its interpretation. If this sounds manipulative, it certainly can be, and this is why framing is most often studied in the context of politics and public rhetoric.

In communicating The New, we aren't running for election, but we do need the candidate's command of the message. In this stage, our mission is to frame the work, so that it can live and thrive outside the friendly confines of the team in which it initially took shape. Framing as a process is an important transition step—it closes out the content ...

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