Reinventing the Wheel

In a recent blog post my colleague, Roger Neill, talks about creativity and crime reduction. It got me thinking about how often we’re using the phrase “we don’t want to re-invent the wheel”. Funny thing to say really, as the wheel has been radically re-invented many times during its existence. The only thing that remains is its basic shape.

Re-inventing does not mean starting from scratch. Simply adapting and improving existing solutions to fit new changes. E.g. from the wheel of a horse-drawn cart to Michelin tyres.

Re-invention is essential in many cases. As much with strategies as with products like the wheel. How many examples can you think of when a new manager brings the strategies that worked in his/her previous organisation and implements it without any adaptation or re-invention to fit the strategy to the new organisation? Sometimes it may work well. Other times it fails, often because the strategies did not take into account the organisation’s culture, needs and values (etc). It was just assumed that what worked well in one place, would work well everywhere.

What is your opinion on the re-use of strategies? Have you got similar stories?

Author: Kristine Pitts