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Another New Year back at work and already our New Year Resolutions are being tested by a whole host of diversions, seductions and irrelevancies.  It’s tough facing a New Year when the Old Thinking seems intent on holding us back, especially if you’re a Start Up looking for your own special way of disrupting the marketing place and staking your claim for immortality.

This year we’re being exhorted to Do things differently and you’ll get different results. It’s a handy little aphorism, occasionally attributed to Alberto Einstein, and is being used in as many different contexts as there are atoms in the universe. Business start up, economic regeneration, social behavioural policy – even Doctor Who – are all inviting us to do things differently if we want to achieve the goals we have set ourselves in our lives.

Want to lose weight? Do things differently.
Want to lower unemployment? Do things differently.
Want to increase the nation’s GDP and your personal libido at the same time? Just do things differently, damn you!

It would be silly to argue that doing things differently won’t result in different outcomes. But we can’t know whether the different actions we”re intent on pursuing are going to produce the outcomes we want. Difference doesn’t guarantee improvement, just difference. Doing things differently might just generate collateral damage of things getting done substantially worse for a while.

Because, unlike those awkward bloody Daleks, we thankfully have not yet quite reached a robotnik stage where every thought can be monitored and controlled and every action can produce a predetermined reaction.

So three cheers for human unpredictability and downright cussidness. It may not get us the changes we want immediately, but it will at least mean we can enjoy the promise of the New Year without fretting about what it is actually bringing.