Considerations for getting started

Considerations for getting started

Here are six components for you and your change team to consider when developing your frame: 

1. Context - the "what" and the "why"

Determine and define the shared concern or strongly desired change, underlying causes and efforts needed to address the issue. Recognize this as central to the frame; it is how the shared concern or desired change is introduced and influences how people respond.

2. Numbers

Use data to support the messaging, but use it sparingly; present the meaning of the numbers first. Seek to establish the scope of the problem, the risks associated with maintaining the status quo (that is, if no change is made) and the benefits of taking action. The data needs to be selected carefully for the audience; it must be meaningful to them. 

3. The messenger

Choose the person or people who will convey the message; they are as important as the message itself. The messenger or messengers should be knowledgeable, trustworthy, and credible to their peers in order to  speak effective to a shared concern or desired change. 

4. Visuals

Select images that are compelling and effective to tell or convey the message. They need to be a good "fit" and to situate the message in a broad context within a larger issue, such as patient safety, quality improvement or person-centred care.

5. Metaphors and simple theories

Metaphors, analogies and/or familiar simple theories can help support or extend understanding of the message. This can be especially valuable when the message includes new, complex and/or abstract concepts.

6. Tone

Be thoughtful about your tone. The message should be non-partisan with no political or religious overtones unless intended. Otherwise, the message can be off-putting or perceived as "pushy", and cause people to stop listening. To achieve the goal of a collaborative, coordinated response, use a tone that is welcoming and inclusive, not divisive.

SOURCE: Adapted from Frameworks Institute. Framing Public Issues. 2005. Retrieved from Framing Public Issues |      FrameWorks Institute


Accelerate Your Success: The Knowledge-to-Action Framework’s ‘Evaluate outcomes’ action cycle phase focuses on the use of data to determine the outcomes and impact of implementation. The data includes measures of clinical and service outcomes at the patient/person and provider level (micro), the organization level (meso) and the system level (macro). For change agents, being knowledgeable about available data and its analysis regarding a change can be helpful to support framing messages.