IAF Methods

Determining the Frame

by for . Last edit was over 2 years ago
240 + 10 - 50

A tool and exercise for determining a comprehensive picture of support for a project or change process.

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To determine the frame of support for a project or a change process within the teams' own network and to consider actions for improving it. To experience that one's frame is bigger than thought and it can be improved.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • Forms



Setting: Forms need to be created.  See the attachment for a sample form.

Number of participants: 10 - 50

Types of participants: Project participants and supporters.

Time needed: 4 hours

Ideal conditions: After the project plan is complete.



In this workshop we will work on creating a picture of our own frame and we will think of ways how to strengthen this frame of influence. I would like you to think back on the lecture. This is the model we will use as the basis of our work.

Brainstorm of Support:

1. Pass out the form. This form represents the four support groups on the form. I want you to take 30 minutes and go through the following steps.

2. Put the changes you are trying make in the center.

3. For each of the four sides put in the names of people:

- The Department: senior and junior workers, support staff, managers.

- The Organization: Board of Directors, Management Team, Unions, and Professional Organizations.

- The External Frame: Customer, Suppliers, Local Community (families) and Government.

- The Informal Power: Disenfranchised, The Women, the Minorities and The Set Aside.

4. Brainstorm people you know in each of these categories. You need to be as concrete as possible. If you cannot give a name probably the person is not in your frame.

Level of support

5. Support can be given in many ways and you want different kinds of support from different parts of the frame. There are four basic kinds of support:

- Real Support: They will basically do any thing to help the change process.

- Selective Support: These people will do specific things on specific occasions for specific reasons.

- Name Support: These people will let you use their name to accomplish a specific goal.

- Passive Support: These people agree with you in principle, they will not offer active support, want to be informed and will not prevent you from acting.

6. For each person on your list, rank them according to the kind of support they represent. You do not want all the people on your list to be 1's or all to be 4's.

7. Look at the results and decide where you, in which support group do you need more influence? Which kind of support do you need more people?

Action Plan

8. Who are the people in the local department that support the changes you are introducing? Put them on a flipchart.

9. Who are the people in the Organization that supports the changes? Put them on a flipchart

10 Who in the External Frame is supporting the change? Put them on a flipchart

11. Who in the informal network is supporting the change? Put them on a flipchart

12. What is your strongest part of the frame? Mark these on the flipchart with one color.

13. Where does your frame need strengthening? Mark these with another color.

14. What are some practical steps you can do to strengthen your frame? Write these on another flipchart.

15. Which of these steps are the most important? Mark these on the Flipchart.

16. Who will take responsibility for step one? Step two? Etc. Write the names next to the step they are responsible for.


We all need support. Any change that happens has a variety of supporters. We can make a change process successful or not by how we deal with our frame of influence.


Follow-Up Required: implementation

Usual or Expected Outcomes: An analysis of existing and potential supporters for a change process and a plan for improving support.

Potential pitfalls: Not being realistic about what is possible.

How success is evaluated: Significant support is gained by the project.


Source: Imaginal Training

Derived from: Institute of Cultural Affairs framing exercise.

Recognizable components: Brainstorm, sort into categories, determine assignments.


Alternative names: Framing exercise, Frameworking

Comments (1) ( 5.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • ICA Associates, Inc. has a tool based on this one that includes levels of support in concentric circles.

    over 2 years ago