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Overcome The "Not Invented Here" Syndrome - By Gail Kasper

Gail Kasper is an Author, Television Host, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Motivational Speaker


Are you familiar with NIH, the “not invented here” syndrome? Perhaps it’s rampant at your place of work. In essence, it’s a persistent culture of avoiding new technology, services, ideas, systems or methods unless they come from within. It’s a form of mistrust and even elitism. Unless you or your particular group developed it, you and your group want no part of it.


In case you weren’t aware, the evolution of my life and in my training to others, was because of the opposite. I firmly preach that you must see outside information, whether you are a company or a person. In my autobiography, Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment, I take my life from helplessness to total empowerment because I seek outside input and stretch myself to uncover the unknown, despite fear. 


Unfortunately, this ‘not invented here’ attitude exists and can lead to much inefficiency at work. I mean, why re-invent the wheel when it already exists and works just fine? Avoiding a concept or tool or procedure just because it “wasn’t invented here” stems from all the wrong ideas, from being suspicious of outside influences to being unwilling to value the work of others. It leads to an uncooperative, wasteful and even disorganized working environment – certainly not conducive for getting things done.


Here’s how to overcome this crippling mentality:


1.Evaluate the product, system, tool or idea on its own merit, regardless of where it came from or who developed it. If it’s useful to you or your department, if it saves time, money or resources, if it’s brilliant, then put aside your concerns and use it.


2.Determine how it will make your job easier or make you perform better. Does this method or technology help you do your job better? Does it benefit you? Can it potentially help you produce better work in less time? If the answer to any of these is “yes,” then apply the product or service even if it comes from an external group.


3.Leave your ego at the door. Just because you didn’t come up with the idea doesn’t mean it has no value. Put your ego aside and determine the concept’s value logically, without letting your emotions get in the way. 


4.Keep an open mind. People tend to resist what’s unfamiliar, yet we often benefit when we’re open to trying something different. By keeping an open mind, you’ll be more likely to see the benefits of trying something that was “Not Invented Here.”


About Gail Kasper: Mid-1998, Gail Kasper started her business from a small one-bedroom apartment, in the middle of bankruptcy, with no money in the bank. Today, Gail is one of the nation's leading speakers, author, Top 1% Club Mentor, a television host, advice columnist, Certified Fitness Trainer, Ms. Continental America 2008, and the creator of SAD-T™ (Systematic Attitude Development-Technique™). A former Contributing Editor to Success Magazine with the "Ask Gail" column and host of the "Ask Gail" segment on the Comcast morning show, Gail is the author of her self-help autobiography Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and the self-help parable Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals. With national media appearances that include Inside Edition, The Today Show, FOX Business News, and Oprah and Friends, Gail has earned the ranking of an in-demand national media personality who has been the topic of discussion on Regis and Kelly. The current host of the Philadelphia Visitors Channel, she has also made numerous appearances on network affiliates that include ABC, FOX, CW11, Comcast, and CBS, where she co-hosted the Emmy award-winning America's TVJobNetwork.


This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit