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Don’t Try Harder, Try Different

“Don’t try harder, try different” is one of my favorite sayings. I remind myself of this thought often. The saying used to be “work smarter, not harder” but when I’m stuck, I’m not always sure what would be ‘smarter’. This saying reminds me  to ASK someone for their ideas so I can get unstuck.

I don’t often write here about my own work but I have to brag about my colleagues from the Philipson Group. Michael Philipson had an idea to create banners for the East End section of Rochester.  These colorful and engaging banners hang from the light poles throughout the part of town that will soon host the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Michael wanted to draw attention to one of the vibrant parts of our city. Creating yet another plain graphic banner was not going to garner much attention. Beyond the fun photos (shot by Rochester photographer Walter Colley)of local citizens, sponsorships were sold. I encourage you to drive or walk around the east end and see all the banners.

I also encourage you to try different. Be sure to ask people unfamiliar with your project what they might try. Look for inspiration in unexpected places. Read a poem, go to the art museum, listen to music with the express purpose of freeing your mind. Let me know how trying different is working for you.


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