Indeed. If anything, “Don’t Reinvent The Wheel” should be used as a call to arms for deeply educating yourself about all the existing solutions – not as a bludgeoning tool to undermine those who legitimately want to build something better or improve on what’s already out there.
In my experience, sadly, it’s much more the latter than the former.
You’re not alone.
At any given moment, somewhere in the world someone struggles with the same problems you have. You know you don’t want to reinvent the wheel (or worse, a flat tire), so you look to the lessons learned by those who’ve faced the same problems and take advantage of the best practices and experience of others, so that you can spend your time on … something else.
Something more challenging. Something more complex. Something more fun.
Maintaining status quo within sales operations isn’t an option if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Sales models must be attuned to market trends, and teams must be flexible and responsive to a dynamic marketplace. All the necessary resources may not be in-house, but in order to realize maximum efficiencies perhaps they shouldn’t be. Right now, in meetings at corporations around the world, the wise are suffering. They are trapped in rooms where debate rages over how to solve a problem. The rub is that the problem has already been solved, just not by someone in the room—and solutions from outside are ignored. This is the disease known as “NIH,” or “Not Invented Here” syndrome, and it’s alive and well. Despite our many technological advancements in communication, none have eliminated this perennial waste of time. Why is this problem so hard to shake? Will we always be confronted with people who insist on reinventing wheels?
The key reason people look to reinvent things is that they don’t know what’s already been done. Ignorance, one way or another, is the leading cause of wasted effort everywhere. People who don’t spend time studying the problems they’re trying to solve are bound to reinvent something, and likely not nearly as well. There are only so many ways to design a website, a marketing campaign, or even a product strategy. Instead of driving minions into further brainstorming sessions, it would be wise to ask: Who else has tried to solve this problem? Can we learn from what they have done?
Good leaders, like good designers or good curators, recognize the rare skill of combining things together well.