The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks


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What is Innovation? When asked this question, many people may list things such as The Internet, Smartphones, Tablets, OLED TV’s, Landing on the Moon/Mars, Windows 10, Twitter, etc. Basically a lot of things related to Technology generally, and Information Technology in particular.

The truth however, is much simpler. All these things that people may describe as innovative are actually only the result of innovation.

Innovation is the thinking that allows these things to exist.

Innovation is the thinking that allows us to take things and use them in different ways.

Innovation is Thinking.

Pragmatic’s Frameworks and Ontologies comprise approximately 150,000 hours of Thinking.

Innovation is not time based. It cannot be scheduled. You cannot say “Right, tomorrow, 10am - we’re going to innovate”. Innovation just kind of happens, when it happens. Ideas, insights and Innovations can come at anytime. Innovation is not based on physical location. Innovation can happen in a meeting, sitting on the toilet, lying in bed, sitting on a train, swimming in the sea. Innovation is also not based on seniority, age, role or salary. Innovation can come from anywhere. From the CEO to the Toilet Cleaner!

Another problem is that no one person or role is the “innovator”. Innovation can come from anywhere.

So given that innovation can happen anywhere, at any time, by anyone, to exploit innovation with respect to Transformation, you need to have an environment that allows you to exploit it, whenever it happens, wherever it happens and whoever it happens to. Lobbying (part of Governance and Lobbying) provides one of the keys to achieve this.

The pursuit of thought tends to centre on asking questions. To explore complex ideas, get to the truth of things, open up issues and problems, uncover assumptions, analyse concepts, distinguish what we know from what we don't know, follow out logical implications of thought.

Socrates formulated a set of six types of questions designed to help people think. They are known as Socratic questions ( :


Think more about what exactly someone is asking or thinking about. Prove the concepts behind their argument. Use basic 'tell me more' questions that get them to go deeper.

¨          Why are you saying that?

¨          What exactly does this mean?

¨          How does this relate to what we have been talking about?

¨          What is the nature of ...?

¨          What do we already know about this?

¨          Can you give me an example?

¨          Are you saying ... or ... ?

¨          Can you rephrase that, please?


Probing assumptions makes people think about the presuppositions and unquestioned beliefs on which their argument is founded. People will really hate this!

¨          What else could we assume?

¨          You seem to be assuming ... ?

¨          How did you choose those assumptions?

¨          Please explain why/how ... ?

¨          How can you verify or disprove that assumption?

¨          What would happen if ... ?

¨          Do you agree or disagree with ... ?

Rationale, Reasons and Evidence

Dig into the reasoning and rationale behind the argument. Generally, people often do not think through things or only have weak rationale to support their arguments. This doesn’t necessarily mean their argument is false.

¨          Why is that happening?

¨          How do you know this?

¨          Show me ... ?

¨          Can you give me an example of that?

¨          What do you think causes ... ?

¨          What is the nature of this?

¨          Are these reasons good enough?

¨          Would it stand up in court?

¨          How might it be refuted?

¨          How can I be sure of what you are saying?

¨          Why is ... happening?

¨          Why? (keep asking it -- you'll never get past a few times)

¨          What evidence is there to support what you are saying?

¨          On what authority are you basing your argument?

Viewpoints and Perspectives

Most arguments are given from a particular position or perspective. Those arguments can severely break down when considered from another, equally valid, perspective.

¨          Another way of looking at this is ..., does this seem reasonable?

¨          What alternative ways of looking at this are there?

¨          Why it is ... necessary?

¨          Who benefits from this?

¨          What is the difference between... and...?

¨          Why is it better than ...?

¨          What are the strengths and weaknesses of...?

¨          How are ... and ... similar?

¨          What would ... say about it?

¨          What if you compared ... and ... ?

¨          How could you look another way at this?

Implications and Consequences

Do the implications and consequences put forward make sense? Are they desirable? Are there others that would disprove the argument?

¨          Then what would happen?

¨          What are the consequences of that assumption?

¨          How could ... be used to ... ?

¨          What are the implications of ... ?

¨          How does ... affect ... ?

¨          How does ... fit with what we learned before?

¨          Why is ... important?

¨          What is the best ... ? Why?

Questions About the Question

Does the initial question/problem even exist? Is it understood? People will hate this with a passion!

¨          Why do you think I asked this question?

¨          Am I making sense? Why not?

¨          What else might I ask?

¨          What does that mean?


Questions to ponder...

What does Innovation mean to you?

What things do you believe are innovative?

What innovations have you thought of? (You definitely have, even if you think you haven’t!)

How much time each day do you spend Thinking?

How much time each day are you allowed to Think?

What do people say, and how do they react, if you spend periods of time thinking?

Are people rewarded or vilified for thinking, or ignored?

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