The Universe is Infinite, But We Are Not: The Unsupportable Futility of “Trying Harder”

There’s an uncomfortable truth we need to acknowledge in our industry: IT professionals are people. And people are complex systems with multiple failure points, both bad and good. We make mistakes, don’t take care of ourselves, burn out, experience loss, or get sick. We experience triumphs and successes that distract us from our work. We try and sometimes fail to balance the demands on our time in both our personal and professional lives. Our energies, attention, and ability can vary over time for many reasons.

Why does this matter? Well, because too often, “trying harder” in at least one of its many forms is the strategy that organizations and individuals turn to in order to fill a gap in planning, resourcing, or governance. And while any of us can put in a short burst of extra energy to achieve success for a short-term project or initiative, for all the reasons listed above, “trying harder” can simply never be a sustainable long-term strategy. This talk will address the telltale signs of when “trying harder” is being used inappropriately and is likely to lead to failure. It will also offer pragmatic strategies or approaches you can use instead. It’s all about strategic pragmatism and setting ourselves up for success as finite beings in a universe (and an industry) of infinite challenge and opportunity.



Kenzie Woodbridge


Let’s Make Things Better

Kenzie Woodbridge is a Web Developer, Community Manager, and Knowledge Base Administrator at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Kenzie also recently completed