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Not long ago I was involved in a brainstorming session tackling some important business goals involving the future of my organization. Naturally, while we were doing our research several buzzwords were coming up such as innovation, value-add, big data, and the list goes on. It’s always fun to be involved in this kind of research because I started to notice a trend; all we are doing is repackaging common sense.
Repackaging Common Sense, Really?
It appears to remain relevant that old ideas are redistributed in disguise. However, this can be a bad thing. A better approach is to avoid treading the same waters over and over and renaming the river each time so it feels new. But what’s evident in this research is taking common sense, repackaging it into new words, action plans, or strategies and putting them into practice.
I think a lot of this stuff is smoke and mirrors and distracts people from what’s really going on and that’s old ideas still remain but just have a different coat of paint.
Old Ideas Aren’t Bad
Most ideas throughout history stay around and remain the same for good reason – they’re great and well founded. Keeping these ideas alive and applying them to your problems and goals is never going to be a bad thing. However, don’t repackage these ideas into bite-sized chunks of common sense which everyone already understands and then try to pass it off as something new and groundbreaking. Just be honest and keep it simple.
Nobody is going to disrespect you for using ideas that have been around for a long time. Just be transparent and keep the message focused and people will respect your message and take it more seriously, without the eye-rolling.
On the Other Hand
Now keep in mind there are situations that call for repackaging common sense to make it fun and fresh. By all means, do this when it’s appropriate. The main argument I’m trying to make is that doing this just to look as if you are doing something for the sake of doing something is the problem.
People will pick up on this type of stuff and completely ignore your message and will likely take any future messages with a grain of salt. This is counterproductive and quite damaging. Don’t get caught in the trap of doing this!
Old ideas stay around for a long time because they make sense and are great. Their message doesn’t die because it always remains relevant. By all means when appropriate feel free to take the common sense preached in these old ideas and repackage them into a new and exciting message. But do not do this just for the sake of doing it so you look like you are doing your job. In situations like that you will sound like an out of tune guitar and people will not be receptive to your message.