Four weeks ago, my BBIT Webinar guest Chandell Labbozzetta introduced me (and you if you tuned in or caught the recording) to her Framing for Outcomes Method.
If you missed it or want a refresher, the recording is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLRJVQ0Y89E&t=2413s
As I promised on the webinar, I have been out using Framing for Outcomes to both bring you a write-up on my experience and of course to utilize the benefits in ViAGO!
What follows is purely my experience, to hopefully give you some insights into how and where you can Frame your own Outcomes. I have also sent this to Chandell to allow her to point out any of my mistakes (so you can avoid them) and to add some further wise tips from experience!
I’ll start with how I understood the method, Chandell’s version can be found in the webinar recording above.
The first thing was how similar it initially seemed to Transition logic which features in a few Theory of Constraints tools, the Transition Tree and Strategy and Tactics Tree stand out here. The fundamental aspect of Transition logic in TOC is that you have the desired effect or outcome linked to the recommended action to get you there. There are other elements, but these two key pieces of information a necessary to understand what to do and where you are trying to get to.
Framing for Outcomes fits very nicely with this approach; the ‘Context’ (Intention/Big Picture) giving the high level of what we are seeking to achieve, and the ‘Content’ Given the success I’ve had personally and seen others have with the action and outcome approach I figured this new (to me) method would also be very effective. The next step is simple and critical, the Order giving the next step and/or deadline makes sense to give actual relevance for either when it must be done or when it must be done by.
Note from Chandell on the Importance of Context: “In a world where so many of us are exposed to acronyms, multiple communication platforms, and reaction-based communication (i.e. social media, SMS, Slack, etc) – context often gets missed out due to character counts. Without Context miscommunication, missed outcomes, and confusion occurs more easily. Setting context allows us to ‘zoom out’ and provide information that may be critical to the readers/listeners’ processing – without it, they are left to make their own assumptions about the importance of the communication….and you know what they say about assumptions.”
The Follow Up is what really set this tool up for me. Behavioural Psychology is critical in causing change. One way to look at it is that the only way to get people to accept the new way is to behaviour manage them into it. A more realistic way to look at it is that people repeat what they enjoy and avoid what they do not. So, if the new way is better for people than the old way, there won’t have to be any “change management”. Incorporating this behavioural aspect into Framing for Outcomes is a big deal. While the template says deliver consequence/reward, the way Chandell explained it on the call (that I recall anyway), was to make the implicit benefit to the team/individual of a task very clear. Making the implicit benefit clear is the latter of the two explanations I gave.
Just to dig into this further, it’s not the benefit to the company (like profit) that’s probably wrapped up in the Context, this is the benefit to the individual/team (like cleaner data from customers to work with).
What it is, is why it matters to the person who has to execute the task.
The concept makes sense, next was to put it to the test.
As recommended by Chandell I used the method as a kind of checklist for communication, have I covered off all 4 aspects enough given the importance of that communication, and found it pretty useful in this regard. There were a number of times I consciously followed the template to the letter, the first couple worked well to design what I wanted to say, but found they were a bit awkward when I came to actually use them, so I just spoke from the top of my mind. There are three different cases I used it in, that I will summarise below.
Framing for an outcome I want from my team
Context: Pitching the podcast to others in the ViAGO team.
High Level: Have a podcast for the BBIT; complementing the Webinar interviews.
Detail: The interviews are great, however, the volume is a little low compared to a more frequent podcast. Consistency is key for followers of the podcast to maintain interest and build a library of information for people who are interested in the BBIT but not sure yet can learn from.
The podcast would also talk about BBIT skills which of course is what many of the people who follow our content/know us want to hear about. I will still run the Webinar interviews with guest speakers (the recordings will be on the podcast too). The format seems to be working well, so I’d like to keep that and have a different ViAGO person on each episode. The guts will still be that the episode is around a certain thinking tool or approach, it must be practical and needs to be supported with a couple of war stories.
Next Steps: I will create a calendar for the podcast interviews, with each of you on it, and share it. You don’t really need to do much other than think up ideas. Once we’re 2 weeks out we can book a time to do the recording (zoom), and we can talk through what you might discuss.
This format is ideal where the prep/stress is low for each of us, I’ll guide the discussion so you don’t need to prepare a presentation. And you can regale us of your stories!
Outcome/Benefit: You’ll get to share your favourite stories you’ve told a million times to customers on projects and in training courses, but as content that can easily be shared by others, and by us, when relevant.
Framing for an outcome my team wants from me
Context: Follow up on a meeting I had with our marketing coordinator, where she had asked me to do something, I used the Framing for Outcomes to confirm I’d understood her request correctly.
So to confirm from Friday, we want to focus marketing on specific groups.
To do that we want to group the names we have into a few job role areas. Then write a couple of articles that speak to how the BBIT concepts are applied in their roles. I’m best to do this as I’ve got examples from training people from these groups in the BBIT tools which I can use in the articles.
So, what you want from me is the articles and some relevant one-liners for each group? And you want the first article to be written this week?
Note: I left out what was in it for me, I know what’s in it for me; more people get to benefit from the BBIT concepts.
Framing for sales outcomes
Context: I had a sales email to send to a few people I’d been speaking to about the BBIT
I swear this is included in the interests of transparency – not a plug 😉
Detail: “Hi Ben,
Hope you and the team are going well, I assume, like us, most of your work can continue in lockdown?
There have been 3 successful cohorts of the BBIT Foundations course. The online 5-week format has worked really well for people learning and also actively applying the techniques as they go. This has given people from the last couple of cohorts some big wins from the tools before the course even wrapped up!
We’ve moved the Foundations course price up to AUD$1,500. I did, however, offer you the course for AUD$1000/head for your team. I’d like to keep that open for booking the next cohort.
To keep it simple, if you’d like to sign people up, reply with their emails, I’ll sign them up and send you an invoice.
If you’d like to discuss this, we can arrange a quick call.
We’ve got another team of consultants (from a different industry) doing a cohort together right now, using the exercises to apply to the tools to live situations with their clients.
Your next steps
As Chandell said, using this as a checklist to make sure you have all the major elements in your communication is useful. However, I found sitting down and using it ‘properly’ a couple of times is the best way to get a decent understanding of the method.
Something I often suggest with our tools is to start with an identification exercise; that is just identify and write down situations you *could* use the method for. This does two things, it overcomes the ‘I didn’t have any situations to use it on’ feeling we often get with new tools, and it gives you a list you can pick from to try to fill out the full Framing for Outcomes template when you get a moment.
Try to do the identification exercise today, and use the full template by the end of the week.
Wins to be had
You’ll get to see the benefits for yourself of Framing for Outcomes, and I expect in the first week of using it you’ll notice your team both understanding your instructions and acting on them more effectively, as well as the appreciation from others of using the framework to confirm what they have asked of you!
p.s. I used the Framing for Outcomes template for this article.