Clean Sheet

Even when it's not broken, sometimes it needs fixing.

Sometimes the sheer repetition of sameness and use of the existing formulas and methods month after month and year after year, is in itself, broken.

Sometimes a clean sheet is the place to start. 

Recently, Hollywood movie studios have given some good examples of how to do this. There have been a couple of high-profile movie franchises (James Bond, Batman), which have gotten fresh starts. New actors, new atmosphere, new "vibe", but all within the same general premise as the originals. Both of these examples have been risky, but both have been more critically and commercially successful than their predecessors. There's even a special term for this process – "reboot."

I have a number of projects that repeat annually, quarterly or monthly. Since I'm relatively easily bored, my tendency is to want to "reboot" these projects relatively quickly. However, a reboot is more than just change for change sake. It should include an examination of the core story (does everyone really know what it is?), an awareness of what users/customers want and need, and a willingness to commit the resources and energy to create excellence. 

Determining the right time and method for a reboot is more art than science, and involves a fair amount of risk. But the rewards, both personally and professionally, can be tremendous. There's the satisfaction of meeting a challenge. There's the joy of seeing your users/customers engaged in new ways. There's the renewed sense of commitment and dedication to a shared goal that these new opportunities provide.

What projects in your life could benefit from a reboot? How will you go about creating the environment for the reboot?