Repurposing Assets

19 October 2015

In today’s Lesson from Andy, I discuss the risks and benefits of repurposing assets.

In Episode 2 of the Andy Griffith Show, entitled, “The Manhunt”, Andy and Barney are on the lookout for an escaped criminal. The criminal eludes them until Andy sets a clever trap. Andy leaves his leaky fishing boat out where the criminal can find it as an escape route, only to be foiled when the boat takes on water.

Your business or organization probably has old or unused assets sitting around. I’m talking about equipment, or training materials, or even inventory. Some assets should be unloaded, but others can be repurposed to the advantage of your business. When thinking about repurposing assets, think about both the benefits and the risks.

Among the benefits you may find:

  • Less expensive to re-use old assets than to buy new
  • Repurposing assets supports your company’s sustainability philosophy
  • You can act quickly to put the assets to use
repurposing assets

Even a leaky boat serves a purpose

Among the risks:

  • The assets are out-of-date, or out-of-compliance, or irrelevant to your business or customers
  • Keeping the assets around results in “clutter”, whether physical clutter, or virtual clutter (e.g., electronic files on your server)
  • There may be hidden costs you’ve overlooked to repurposing assets

Let me comment on training assets specifically. When you find old training programs sitting around, and you are reluctant to spend new money on replacing them, those old training materials are likely to be:

  • Content heavy
  • Content-centered, not learner-centered
  • Filled without-of-date content

Learning Meets Quality LLC offers this perspective on repurposing assets, especially training assets. From a Learning perspective:

  • Develop proficiency expectations for the role being trained
  • Create training activities that engage employees more deeply than may have previously been done; that is, make then active learners
  • Make clear your expectation that the material taught with those old assets be transferred to the workplace


From a Quality perspective:

  • Adopt a “just-in-time” philosophy of training, to maximize impact and minimize the need to re-train (a type of “re-work”)
  • Reduce variation in your training results – seek consistency in training
  • Eliminate training “waste”, meaning, training that doesn’t translate to increased performance


Summarizing our Lesson from Andy, “Even a leaky boat serves a purpose”.

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