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Get value from recycled ideas

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by on
in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

In June, a slew of summer movies will hit theaters. Many of them will be sequels or remakes, such as The Karate Kid, Toy Story 3 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

In all likelihood, at least some of these movies will make lots of money—even though they’re not new concepts. Take that as a lesson: You can extract great value from seemingly stale ideas.

In many organizations, old ideas are stamped as failures. They’re perceived as flawed or unworkable even if they weren’t given a fair chance to succeed (perhaps because of management changes, abrupt economic swings or other variables). Office politics can also get in the way if out-of-favor employees led past project teams or proposed ideas that were championed by a former regime.

Why not resurrect some of the best “stale” ideas of the past few years? Gather your staff and assess the previous implementation with a critical eye. Examine what went wrong and how you can learn from those mistakes. Stage test runs to see if promising concepts gain traction. Dust off abandoned strategies and evaluate whether the stars are aligned for better results in the second half of 2010.

Hollywood likes to profit from what’s familiar. You can, too. Infuse fresh energy into faded experiments and profit from what you learn the second time around.

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