I have written before about the value of re-framing a situation, finding something to be grateful for, something to compliment, and identifying the benefits when at first glance the situation feels bad.
In this blog, I want to celebrate the skill of re-purposing something we have created for one situation (that is not working) and using it somewhere else.
To be good at re-purposing, we have to adjust how we work. It helps to be open to re-use so that we can spot potential even as we concentrate on the current piece of work.
As I research and design ideas for one situation, I am thinking about and feeling grateful for the knowledge bank I am developing, that can be used elsewhere. This keeps me curious and open to new ideas, which in turn makes me positive and interested in what I am doing, because I feel all my effort adds value – sometimes immediately, and sometimes the value becomes apparent later.
These are some of my examples, I hope they kick-start ideas for you:
As I was researching this article, I read several interesting stories about innovation and the agile mindset. I found a few quotes that I can include in a directors briefing next week, and another article I can share with a great checklist for staying positive.
When facilitating a brainstorming session the last thing I want to do is shut down creativity, but not all ideas are relevant to the problem we are trying to solve. I make sure I thank everyone for their contributions and those ideas that are not selected are held onto – we will not use them now, but we might re-purpose them, using them in another situation at a later date
I wrote a big presentation last week but during rehearsals I cut a lot of content. Instead of dwelling on the wasted effort, I realised that the content made useful points and explained important concepts but it just wasn’t right for the audience I was speaking to. I have saved my work and will use it this week with a different group.
Data and reports
I was sifting through a lot of data about a business I work with the other night, and found a few answers that I needed. So much of what I was reviewing wasn’t relevant to the situation I am currently addressing, but as I worked through the statistics I kept note of the points that interested me, and that triggered new thoughts. These are all useful for other conversations and communications with stakeholders, they just were not relevant at the time.
Always look for re-use opportunities because then you never feel you are wasting your effort, you are building your capability for use another day.