In my last article I talked about the advantage of reframing and framing a problem statement in order to find a better problem to solve (see if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet).

So once you have defined the better problem to solve, what then?

One incredibly powerful tool in the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) compendium is the Disney Strategy. In a way, this model utilises the principle of different frames, because you can then look at the problem from a number of different perspectives.

The strategy was devised by Todd Epstein and Robert Dilts, who modelled the method used by Walt Disney to turn his ideas into reality. They recognised that Disney used three types of thinking – day dreaming or thinking big, planning and problem solving, and being constructively critical.

Utilising the Disney Strategy

There are a number of ways you can utilise the model, including this quick and easy way.

Put up 3 bits of paper on a wall labelling them Dreamer, Critic, Problem Solver.

Now you have been able to dream big before and come up with ideas haven’t you?

And I am sure you have been able to be that critic before, come up with all the reasons why something won’t work, the one with the ‘yeh buts’ the one who can see all the obstacles and hurdles?

And in the same way, haven’t you been able to be a problem solver and planner in the past?

Dream big!

Think of and connect with when you have been able to dream big and let your imagination run free. On the Dreamer piece of paper draw, or write, the result of solving the problem, what would be the impact of no longer having the problem, think and dream big with your ideal vision.

Only allow yourself to dream here!

Connect with your critical strengths

Now, think of and connect with a time when you were able to constructively criticise your own plans, or the plans of others, and on the Critic piece of paper, draw or write down all of the obstacles, the things that would stop the dream happening. Allow yourself to be really constructively critical of the dream.

Find resourceful solutions

Now, think of and connect with a time where you were able to plan, solve problems, be resourceful and find solutions. On the Problem Solver piece of paper, having listened to the Dreamer and the Critic, put your realistic problem solving and planning hat on and jot down all the ways that you could potentially overcome the problems. Consider the steps you need to take to reach the desired outcome.

You can then cycle between the problem solver and critic until you have a sound workable plan.

You can also vary the method by physically stepping into separate spaces, using three different flip charts or splitting your teams into three, giving each the responsibility for each role.

Look out for my next article where I will delve deeper into the art of reframing using NLP based language to create shifts from a problem state and open up the possibilities for a more productive mind-set.

For more information on how NLP can work for you visit