Make Do and Mend
Over the past few months, I have been compiling a mental list of all the things that I would like to receive for Christmas but now I am struggling to find anything that I really need in there.
This is nothing to do with the ‘real message of Christmas’ or anything like that. Instead, it’s down to an article by Angela Raini on the BBC last week.
She is a technology journalist who does not feel the need to be the early adopter, ahead of the pack constantly replacing and updating her gadgets. Instead, she is much happier to stick with what she has until has completely outgrown its use or it cannot be repaired any longer.
“If this sounds like wartime Britain – make do and mend and all that – that’s because, in a way it is. Fixing things and recycling in some places is a necessity, not a choice. In the developing world you can see it everywhere.”
After reading the article, I have to admit that I started to feel a little bit greedy. Much of the stuff that was on my list was there to replace something that I have already. Not even things that need much fixing, just things that I wanted a shinier version of.
When did all this happen? I’m not that old but I can remember a time when you wouldn’t lightly scrap something and replace it without seeing if it could be repaired first. Once, we waited a whole week while our VHS player was at the repair shop! Admittedly, it was hardly the blitz but still …
This desire to rip out and replace things in need of repair is not exclusive to individuals. Many organisations have their own list of things that they want and are running initiatives to replace what they already. Don’t get me wrong, looking at ways to improve is definitely a good thing but some approaches can be more drastic than they need to be.
I was speaking to somebody the other day who had been challenged with coming up with a replacement for one of their company processes. After getting everybody in her team together to start from scratch and writing up the work, she found the documentation for the original, only to find that it was virtually the same as her new version.
As austerity hits, more people are looking for ways to save money by repairing their essentials; resoling shoes, mending clothes, etc. How are you looking for ways to ‘make do and mend’ the things that are important to your business?