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Brain circuits

A 5-step approach to problem framing 

IbyIMD+ Published 12 February 2024 in Brain circuits • 4 min read

When tackling a tough problem, remember these five Es before jumping to conclusions: expand, examine, empathize, elevate, and envision.

Given one hour to solve a problem, Albert Einstein famously said he’d “spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.”

In those windup minutes, think about framing. Consider the long view and the details from various perspectives. Take steps to ensure that you don’t jump to conclusions before you fully grasp the nature of the problem.

This philosophy underpins our E5 framework which provides a structured approach for engaging with complex problems before leaping to solutions. Here’s a glimpse at the five phases that make up our framework:


Before brainstorming, try frame-storming. That’s where you gather a diverse team – with outsiders, if possible – to help identify all aspects of a problem.

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