Good morning colleagues
In previous weeks, we discussed the idea of being a carpenter (using the most effective tool for the most effective outcome). Today, we will add the strategy of being a tailor. Why reinvent the wheel? The wheel has already been invented. Let’s explore further.
When we go shopping for clothes, we have three strategies. We can buy something right off the rack and not even try it on (A). Perhaps we have a history of buying clothes from a particular store and we are confident that their sizes will fit us and we know our color wheel, thus based on history we know we can buy and the clothes will fit us well.
For some, we may go into a fitting room and try the clothing on. Perhaps it fits amazingly well; perhaps we may need adjustment—this is where we may need a tailor (B). One size doesn’t always fit all. Thus, we may like the outfit, but we may need a tuck here or a nip there.
Finally, we may simply decide that the outfit looks better on the hanger than it did on us (C); we need to move on.
Thus, why reinvent the wheel? Think of these strategies as looking at what is already out there to see what might work for us. We might know already that a specific strategy (A) will work for us. We simply integrate the strategy into our existing strategy. We may decide to try a new strategy (B), but require tailoring to our specific style (or we may need an editor to help us tailor a new strategy to our writing techniques). Finally, we may know that a specific style (C) is just not for us or we try it and it simply doesn’t work. That’s ok. The goal is to not reinvent that wheel that is already invented. Many people can offer us strategies that we may consider so as not to have to go it alone.
Perhaps you are writing your Lit Review and you aren’t sure how to begin—go and research how others have found success and try their strategy and process (Hint: Always find someone who has done successfully what you are trying to do;hire them as a coach!). Again, maybe their ideas are in line with your strategies (A), perhaps it is a good idea but you need to adjust or tweak a bit (B), or you simply tried and it didn’t work (C)–move on.
Many students seem stuck, not aware of effective ideas to at least get started and try. Think like a carpenter-–reach into the toolbox of others for ideas; perhaps consult a tailor (coach) to adjust to your specific needs. No need to reinvent the wheel; build on the progress and process that others have used with success. Never go it alone.
I look forward hearing your success stories!
Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur