INTRODUCTION

Reinvent the Wheel?No Thanks—Haven’t Got the Time

PEOPLE OFTEN USE THE EXPRESSION “Let's not reinvent the wheel” when they want to ensure that time and energy isn't wasted on needless work. Why spend time revising a whole line of products when only one product needs improving? Or why spend energy redesigning your customer service function when you can benchmark most of it from another company? Why do anything all over again, from the very beginning, when a few adjustments will give you the results you need?

But there is another, hidden aspect of the idiom “reinvent the wheel.” I'm referring to how we do productive things, not what we do.

It struck me recently that the invention of the modern-day wheel must have taken an awfully long ...

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