By Roxanne Pearce

Sometimes looking at the labels we apply to tasks and activities can suggest a new approach that could improve our results.

A few weeks ago I met an inspiring (and really smart!) person Myles Ritson from a company called Fusion Learning from the UK. Myles introduced me to the notion of “re-search”. I love this idea, of re-searching through materials and data we already have, rather than beginning net-new primary studies. It’s interesting to go back and re-read reports and documents with a new question in mind. And if you’re like me, often the most fascinating insights from a research study are not those that solve the initial business question, but are “jumping off” points to learn more about our target customer.

Given how lovely the distinction is of re-searching vs. research, I began thinking of other “re” words that might also twist and re-energize my thinking. Here are a few more:

Re-create: Many years ago, I was invited to spend a few wintery days at a friend’s cottage in Northern Ontario. While others were very focused on re-creating: cross country skiing, snow shoeing, etc. I was more into creating:  drawing, photography, etc. I remember thinking, even way back then in my early 20’s, about the similar re-juvenating quality of what they called re-creating and I called creating, and the bond we had as we shared our output at the end of each day.

Re-solve: this year I decided to not resolve new things for the New Year, but rather, re-solve why I was not able to achieve some of my past goals. So I am re-flecting on the behaviours that impaired me last year and how to change those rather than setting new lofty goals. It’s forcing more inner reflection as I try to re-solve the mysteries of my character and behaviours, rather than just slapping on shiny new objectives.

Re-action: I am trying to think about the impact of my actions rather than my re-action to others. We all want to be judged by our intentions; but at the end of the day we are judged by our actions. So I hope to have a much more positive impact in the world by focusing on my actions, rather than my re-actions.

So now I’m thinking about the word re-quest: How might a request a client asks of us help in their quest? Even the simplest seemingly off-hand “ask” might have deep implications to their long term quest. By understanding their long term objectives, we are better able to understand the implications and respond to their re-quests more accurately. I have noticed that sometimes the impromptu “drive-by” hallway chats are more efficient and powerful than big bloated meetings. We need to always try to have our antennae up: there is really no such thing as a simple “re-quest” — all asks are likely linked to a personal or organizational quest ( a glorious word, don’t you think?)

And finally re-serve: We all have customers. How can our clients re-serve their best customers by re-thinking service. Of course we serve all customers; how can we re-serve our high value best customers to demonstrate and recognize them in a compelling way that strengthens relationships?

Do you have other ideas or “re” words? Words that have very different meanings when “re” is added? I’d love to hear about your “re” words, how they turbo-charge your thinking, and transform your planning and actions in a completely re-freshing way.