hammer.jpgDoing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a form of insanity.

Trying differently can be more difficult than it at first seems. It requires learning new skills, new methods, pushing boundaries, perhaps even advancing into the unknown.

It is so easy to fall into the “What we really need here is just a bigger hammer” syndrome. Events can gather momentum and we can become extremely vested in our solutions. And group think can begin to fester. To back up and try a whole other solution can seem suspiciously like giving up. In effect, admitting that our past efforts were a mistake or at least not the smartest, best choice.

This is why a new CEO, a new president, a new leader, less invested in past decisions, often finds it easier to abandon past paths and strike out on different routes even if still heading toward the original mountain top, the original goal.

There is a lot to be said for trying harder. I am a BIG proponent of persistence and resilience. It is frequently the best first option, the easiest thing to try.

That said, at some point trying harder does not work. One must realize that a new solution is in order. That it is time to step back, crank up our creative energies, assess, re-evaluate, consult, brain storm and try smarter, try differently.