Not Invented Here Syndrome

not invented here

Many large multinational companies suffer from a “not invested here” syndrome, where they struggle to leverage the best ideas within their company, on a global scale.

I have seen first hand where great ideas were ignored because it wasn’t developed in that location. And this isn’t always just a corporate versus regions problem, where many people believe that in Corporate HQ’s if an idea wasn’t developed by Corporate, then it can’t be a good idea.

I have seen Regions reject ideas from Corporate, I have seen Corporate reject ideas from Regions, and even Regions rejecting ideas from other Regions.  I think this is all just part of human nature that we think  that only we can have good ideas.

As leaders this is something that we need to combat, we need to facilitate collaboration and sharing of best practices across regions and corporate.

We need to promote the view that great ideas can come from anyway, and that they should be accepted and embraced, not rejected just because one group didn’t come up with them.

At one company where I worked in order to help with this, we used to have a “Not Invented Here Award” which would be given to a team or group that implemented a best practice or idea from another regions.

This really helped reduce the barrier but it didn’t eliminate it completely – human nature is tough to change.

As leaders we need to be open to ideas from other areas and regions, we need to set the example, if we are not seen to do this then why should others.

When it comes to great ideas, no one group has cornered the market, and if we restrict our search to just one group or region, then we limit ourselves and will not reach or full potential.

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles