Let's try breaking down a problem, maybe a more everyday problem into PAGES so that we can think about changing some of those PAGES to generate new avenues for solving new problems, doing new things. Think outside the bag. Think outside the bag. Our good friends at SC Johnson, some Ziploc bags. We'll keep it simple so look, let's think about a Ziploc bag. Let's see what are the parts? There's a box. There's an opening. There's an opening. A mechanism for closing it. A mechanism for closing it. There's a seam at the bottom. There is a seam at the bottom, there's a bag with some transparent plastic. We think about changing those parts so it's convenient in thinking about the parts. Yes. What's the new part? I could think of glass rather than plastic. Absolutely. Then it could be an artistic display. Absolutely. Or it could be colored so you could have blue and green and pink or whatever colors to it so you can color-code whatever you're doing. We've seen all kinds of openings. This one has this little tab thing on top to make it a little easier to open the bag, that was apparently an innovation but then there are slidey things to close them. There's some bags with sliders. Perhaps the shape itself could change depending on what you want to store in it. They could be longer. Happens to be square. Or bigger. Packing your big sandwich for lunch. What's the next element? Okay, so the next one is actions. Actions. What can you do with this? Well, you could store things. You can store things. You can hide things. Well, it's hard with a clear one but if it is not clear, you can hide something in it. Exactly, so each step builds on the other. Exactly. I can actually make unique combinations depending on what I did earlier. Right, so if I change the coloring, then maybe the action is different, or I change the opening, the action is different. If it's a slider opening, it may not hold liquids so well but at one of these openings you can turn it upside down and carry a goldfish and it would be an action. You can put things in it, you can open it, you could blow it up. I don't know, you could maybe suck the air out of it. Which would be useful. Could be useful. At least trying something. All kinds of things. The actions, goals. Goals. What might we do with one of these things? I might want to store something in it, organize something. Organize, put things into different bags. What other goals might I have? Well, you can also think about, I'm going to carry food in it, I'm going to organize parts in it, I'm going to put a gift inside of it. A goal might be organization, we might think about. I'm in the mindset of trying to organize something, I could be in the mindset of trying to entertain people so I could use the bag as a source of entertainment, toss it in the air. We don't get that much. I thought that would be fun. That sounds fun to me. Well, I'm stuck here playing with plastic bags all day. I love it. Goals. Then event. What's the overarching event that we're dealing with? Am I making the kids lunch? It's a birthday party. Is it a birthday party? I could use it to store the gifts that you give kids on the way out. Party favors. Party favors. Maybe these could be decorated with designs or drawings rather than being very functional and not maybe so decorative, you can have a decorative version and it can just be given right there. If the event is a crime scene, I could store fingers in it. That's different, or traveling. I was supposed to push it. We could put clothes inside if it was larger. That's right. But we're playing with possibilities in this state. Exactly. Then self-concept like who am I? We just talked about a party host or a gift-giver. I'm a nice person so I think about I'm going to give gifts in that bag so my goal motivates what I think about. If I'm not a nice person that opens up another area of possibility. I could put it over your head [inaudible]. I won't listen to this guy anymore. I'm just getting more ideas. That's right. The intuition you're having is exactly right, which is that when you change one of these aspects, the parts, the actions, the goals, the event, the self-concepts, it might cause a change to another one. What we've been noticing is that a part or action change tends to have smaller effects, whereas goal, event, and self-concept changes tend to be much larger. I think those are the ones that you often take for granted. Exactly. The value of the framework is really highlighting the need to think systematically about each part of the process. I think that we tend to get locked into one particular one and ignore all the possibilities. What if I was a dog walker versus what if I'm a party host, sends you down completely different pathways, totally different events, different goals, different actions, different parts, and by starting with self-concept or event or goal, you're much more likely to go in a broader array of directions and generate more divergent possibilities. I think we just did that with the Ziploc bag. All that with a Ziploc bag, excellent. One more example of PAGES breaking down a problem. We did a deep dive with the Ziploc bag, which is fun. But just to get some practice with the framework, let's work through another example of using PAGES to systematically change our perspective. I want to talk about one problem that's a little bit richer and more complex, and one that you've probably often read about in American newspapers, which is, how do we reduce gun-related deaths in this country? Sure, like a brainstorming prompt. What can we do about gun-related deaths? Yeah. What are some solutions to that? Let's break it down. What are the parts? Parts. Bullets? Can we maybe change those parts, so we can think of arrows instead of bullets? That would be one way to reduce gun-related deaths. That would be. Right. That kind of thinking leads to things like tasers. It may incapacitate someone but not kill them, so we reduce gun-related deaths by having a different object instead of a gun and different bullets. You have rubber bullets or something like that. Right. Can we make a gun less likely to fire accidentally, so smart guns. So intervening on the parts does make a certain amount of sense, at least to start. Yeah. What about the next one, actions. So what are some actions that we could think about when we're thinking about gun-related deaths? Sure. You can think about all the different processes, so where do you buy a gun? Then you can think about who gets to shoot one? Whether you can train people, and then you can also think about faster emergency arrivals. If the ambulance shows up more quickly, then fewer people die, who get shot. Better hospital care for people who are shot. There are lots of different actions that you might think that are part of that process. The next one, what came to mind was guns. Gun-related deaths, no. Goals, what are the goals? We could reduce deaths, we could increase care for people, but you could also think about reducing suicides. One of the big areas of gun-related deaths is people committing suicide, so that may be a goal, is to tamp down suicide. Reducing accidents, which would lead to the training again, as a solution. Or reduce homicides, which is probably what first came to mind, so that might be policing or community efforts, things like that. Yeah, so on to the next one. Yeah, on to the next one. So event, what might be the event? Well, we just thought of a few. So crime. Crime. There's also domestic violence to consider so that the event is often triggered by that, so then that leads to a different set of potential solutions revolving around the home. Right. What are the kinds of events we could think of? Like shooting galleries maybe or hobbies? They can go awry? There are accidents that take place there. What other events might be you think about the context of guns. You can think about also. Celebrations? Celebrations. I had a wedding in Russia, guns went off. Guns went off in the air? Wow. Congratulations, I think. You're right, exactly. Then self-concept, who are we? Are we in a city, am I urban? So am in an urban environment? Am I living in a rural environment? Am I a hunter, for example? That might be a very different mindset. Concerns for my own safety versus am I out to have fun, two very different self-concepts. Yeah. Someone who was a hobbyist versus someone who sees themselves as, under threat versus a collector, would be another sense of self that would potentially change. Then some formal roles like policeman, or policewoman, or soldier, very different situations that would make you think differently. Body armor starts to come to mind. Father of a girl you just started to date. I have no idea what you're talking about. If we think about that, you can think about if we jump back to say parts for example, so where does that lead us? We've talked a little bit about that, but you could think about are we dealing with a domestic violence situation, so then that might lead to a certain set of solutions, whereas you're thinking about suicide, that might be different. If you're thinking about region, so if we're up north versus down the south, or in the city, versus out of the city, now we have different. We have different parts of themselves like what kinds of guns are you thinking about, are they changed by the role, and by self-concept? Yeah. By dealing with an AK-47, is my self-concept a member of a gang that's under threat, we are framing the problem and also a different set of potential solutions. We can spiral out from there, so gun-related deaths, guns are manufactured, maybe the manufacturing is really dangerous, I don't know. Maybe it's really polluting or something. So there may be all these peripheral ways of thinking about this process. Also even, it just occurred to me, the event itself when we're talking about death. Death is actually a very narrow frame as well. We can think about injuries. Yes. Debilitating injuries that occur, which may be another big problem, so all of these things feed on each other. Yeah, but by thinking about PAGES, we broke down and generated all of these different starting points for thinking about things that you might be able to do, and I think that's the benefit of a framework is that it can be a little more systematic, a little bit more guided as a process. So it might be a problem we can actually solve at some point. - Exactly. Hopefully, yeah. - It takes practice to break situations down into PAGES. I wanted to provide two more examples as practice and to make an important point about the process. Here's a problem and that I think I got from Professor Dick Thaler. Restaurants attract attention when they first open and often have waiting lists for reservations, but a year or two later, many of those restaurants are gone. What can a restaurant do to capitalize on the initial attention they get when they first open to make it more likely they'll still be around. Let's start with what's obvious and then use that to help identify the maybe less obvious. For example, we're talking about a restaurant, maybe it's in Chicago. That's a part. Waiting lists, that's a part too and it implies an action taking reservations. Why do restaurants take reservations? That is, what goals do they have in mind? Well, one goal might be to keep people from waiting. Another goal might be to commit people to coming. Whose goals are we talking about anyway? That is which self-concepts are we considering? Perhaps we're thinking about the restaurant owner. That's one self concept, or the person coming to dine, that's another self concept, or walk-ins, that's a different self concept for a diner. Each of these accompanies a different situation or event. A last minute idea as part of a night out, that would be a walk-in. A plan for a great evening, that would be dinner with a reservation, or running a successful restaurant and that would be the owner's perspective. Here's a different example. You are a human resource manager of a large company with a reputation for treating employees compassionately. A long period of weak sales and high operating costs are threatening your business. What do you do? Well, again, we can start with the obvious. A human resource manager is a self-concept, a long period of weak sales and high operating cost is an event. What goals might we have? Lowering costs, increasing sales, or perhaps freezing hiring? What actions could we take? We could increase prices. We could renegotiate with suppliers. We could start a voluntary separation program. What parts are there? There's a company, a reputation, a set of suppliers and on we go. There's an important point to make here. We can think of the same element of a situation in different ways. For example, maybe a voluntary separation plan could be an action in the poor company performance event, or maybe the voluntary separation plan is an event all to itself with a series of actions involved in it. That is, the very same element can be interpreted differently depending on whether we see it as an action within a larger event or as a larger event itself within which many actions take place. As another example thing about, I don't know, something ordinary, making a bed, that could be the event with actions like removing the sheets, or putting on fresh sheets and so on, or making a bed could be an action within the larger event of cleaning the house. We can form a different interpretation of the very same element. Say in this case, making a bed, that places it in a different role, say an event or an action within our perspective. The point of using PAGES to help us articulate our current perspective is not to determine what some aspect of a situation really is. We can think about items in different ways. Instead, the point of using PAGES is to help find out how to change our perspective. Can I see making a bed as an event? Yeah. What could follow from seeing it that way? Could I see making a bed as an action? Yes again, what would follow from seeing it this way instead? Our goal is to articulate our current perspective, whatever that may be, so that we can help ourselves use that perspective to generate ideas, as well as to help ourselves change our perspective to provide an alternative foundation for generating new ideas. - We're always forming stories to account for what we're doing. Maybe we're just getting up, going to work, or maybe it's the biggest deal of our lives at work. Whatever it may be, you're forming some story. This is my day, this is what's happening. In the course of forming that story, you have to think about things in a particular way. This is a mug rather than a paperweight. - We do that because we have to make choices, because we can't take into account all possible sources of information. - Our poor little brains. - In forming our story, we make these choices that end up forming a particular perspective. - Exactly. Now we know that that perspective has parts, and actions, and goals and an event, and a self-concept for who we are as the narrator's of our story. - Once we change our perspective, it then becomes an opening through which we can now change our story moving forward or even rethink prior assumptions. - Yeah. Who we think we are and what we think we've done, what we think we could do, can change, the story that history may stay the same, but our interpretation, our perspective on it may change, and that may open up new pathways for us to take. Yeah. Exactly. Putting it all together, we have concepts, we've put them into roles, different functional parts of a perspective, and we use that to guide our stories. If we change the perspective, new story.