Make the Wheels Turn

One of the things we hear a lot about these days is “Reinventing the Wheel.” Many of us think we have a great idea, and then when trying to bring it to life, find out that someone else has already had the idea, and may have failed at bringing it to fruition. Further research may show how others were successful at achieving their goal, and then we become upset since we could have simply emulated their processes, rather than wasting time trying to “reinvent the wheel.”

But once the wheel has been invented, it simply remains another “thing” unless it’s put into action. A wheel must be allowed to roll in order for it to fulfill its purpose. That might be where the expression “roll with it” came from.

There’s also another series of phrases out there that give us cause to reflect – one is designed to console us when bad things happen (for lack of a better expression, “‘Stuff’ happens”) and another that turns the phrase around to empower business executives (“I make ‘stuff’ happen”). Such a pairing can be applied to “wheels” as well – from John Lennon’s lyric, “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,” and to the title of our Marketing Matter of the day.

If we’ve been placed in a position to lead our schools, we not only have to make the wheel (create quality programs for our schools), we have to make the wheels turn.  Share ideas. The SchoolAdvancement LinkedIn group was created specifically for this purpose. By working together, the collective intelligence created is greater that what we can achieve independently. There are also other groups on LinkedIn that focus on marketing, development, philanthropy, and can connect you with others so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

But if you have a wheel you’ve invented, share it! Post an idea for improvement that’s worked for you, a link to a Web site you’ve found to be helpful, or a comment about a new book you’ve discovered…not only within LinkedIn groups, but in your emails to individuals in your network. Rather than simply sharing the information of business (which your recipients could ignore), it could make your emails become something that people look forward to, since they’re not “business as usual.” And today, “business as usual” gets ignored…and business that’s ignored goes away. Today, your school needs to be a “remarkable” place to be!

If you’d like to find out more about what it means to be “remarkable,” consider picking up a copy of Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow,” or Scott McKain’s “Create Distinction.” Save it for your summertime reading list so you can control information overload as the end of the school year nears.  When information overload happens, those wheels aren’t just turning, they’re turning faster and faster…to the point that you’re spinning your wheels.  And that won’t get you anywhere.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2008-2018 (Original Publication Date: 20080421)