Not Created Here Syndrome

The inability to recognize or appreciate the value of another team’s work.

Developers and engineers may have heard of “not invented here” (NIH) syndrome, which is well documented. From Princeton.edu:

Not Invented Here (NIH) is a term used to describe persistent social, corporate or institutional culture that avoids using or buying already existing products, research or knowledge because of their external origins. It is normally used in a pejorative sense…

When I say other teams I’m not just talking about outside design agencies, I would include other teams or departments in your own organization. I get annoyed when designers or writers or photographers can never seem to see the good in other teams’ work.

The best way to triage Not Created Here is humility and listening, try to understand their strategy. If you’re looking at some other teams’ work without understanding their strategy or their constraints you’re only critiquing style, not the substance of their work.

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