I’ve Done It So It Works

“I’ve done it so it works” and its close cousin “I’ve seen It so it works” are two arguments that often form the first line of defence from supporters of a particular approach to doing a thing. I appreciate people trying to help others with stories about what worked for them – although proselytising, not so much.

Sarah Reid/Flickr

Sarah Reid/Flickr

And as a defence, it bears little scrutiny, for the following reasons at least:

  • Even if it worked for you, in your context, there’s no reason to suppose it will work for others, in their context.
  • That was then, this is now. Time moves on, as does knowledge.
  • The thing you were doing may have been a success despite the way you were doing it, not because of it. Can you really state cause and effect unequivocally? Especially in a Complex Adaptive System?
  • You may not have been doing X at all, despite your belief that that was what you were doing.

And why be defensive anyways? It’s not like your ego or worth as a human being is on trial. Even though it can often feel like that.

“All defensiveness and emotional tumult is a fear response because of your need for acceptance and ruthless control of the territory of your safe fantasy world.”

~ Bryant McGill

– Bob