Borrow a Corpse to Raise the Spirit

Strategy 14

Take an institution, a technology, or a method that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or to reinterpret and bring to life old ideas, customs, and traditions.

Modern Example

What this principle omits is how short most institutional memory is. In young and dynamic companies, turnover is high. This can be used to your advantage. If a manager or colleague overrules you on a matter of technology or process, on average, they tend to be gone within 9 - 18 months. If you can bide your time, circumstances can be turned to your advantage. On one occasion, a programmer had a serious difference of opinion with me over the way a project should have been constructed. They were able to override my justifiable concerns. Once they left, and the project was transferred to another group, the manager of that group had no idea why the original programmer's ideas had ever been followed. I shortly got my way in every regard - and scored major brownie points for the great job I did. Another way this principle can be interpreted is in regards to the reuse of code. I have several projects currently in progress. They look remarkably similar to certain projects I did years ago for another company. My current employer will never know. And they don't have to be informed of all the time I saved by not having to develop again from scratch - as long as I look busy and deliver when I'm supposed to, I figure my time is my own.