Doing the same thing and expecting different results

The famous Albert Einstein quote came to mind recently as I was reflecting on a round of golf. I was 6 over par and heading for my best round ever, when on the 16th hole I hit my drive into a fairway bunker. My ball was on a flat area and with less than 200 yards to the green, I was confident that with my hybrid, I would make the green.

I didn’t. Well not until four shots later. And suddenly I was 9 over par. So what happened? It took me 3 shots to get out of the bunker because after the first shot didn’t work I tried playing the same shot hoping to get a different result. I didn’t. I finally changed the club and approach and hit an iron just short of the green. What I probably should have done for the first shot in the bunker.

Albert Einstein was right. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Then I realized that this is a mistake we make at business as well. I had been reflecting on the fact that several companies I had been working with had been struggling to get growth. They had good processes, if anything, they were over-processed, but still could not get any growth. But they kept doing the same things, hoping growth would come. HOPE is not a strategy.

Processes are not always the ONLY answer. You can have a golf swing that needs fixing. You get the best coach and start changing your golf swing and have it grooved and grooved but then you need the confidence and commitment to make the new swing. This is where most people and companies fall back to their comfort zone, and use the old swing even though the practice has proven they hit the ball straighter and further with the new swing.

Process is not enough. We need to execute and this often means changing our behavior.  And behaviors and commitment is what really drives change!

As the authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution say, “No significant result is achievable unless people change their behavior. Yet, to be successful, you will need more than just their compliance; you will need their commitment”

If what you are doing is not getting the results you want, CHANGE. Don’t be insane! Change behavior and seek commitment.

Peter M. Beaumont is the Founder and Principal of ConnXN. He is also the author of The Relationship Roadmap, a comprehensive guide to building relationships with strategic clients. Find out more at

About the Author:

I am the customer relationship mentor, who helps those responsible for their company’s most important customers, to build and maintain their customer relationships and keep them happy, so that they can protect & grow their business.