You are what you worry about

Ask three people to describe the same situation and you will likely get three different descriptions, even when they all agree on the key underlying facts. 

Someone will diagnose a failed project and say processes weren't strong enough. Someone else will diagnose the same situation and say that the people weren't experienced enough. A third person will say that the team wasn't functioning as one and communication failed. We each tend to select and focus on the information we care most about and the reasons why we care more about some things than others are a mix of genetics, personal history, experience and an interplay of cognitive biases. 

In a way, companies try to act as big objectification machines: through standards, processes and rules they want to minimize the subjectivity I'm talking about here. And yet, in mature companies full of process and procedure, I keep seeing, all the time, people that always reach the same conclusion. For some, every problem comes down to a lack of structure. For others, for example, it's always about not having motivated people. Again and again, the same people are surprisingly predictable at reaching the same conclusions, regardless of the situation you ask them to analyze. Sometimes they objectively fix the problem, whatever it is (a delay, insufficient quality), sometimes they don't, but their approach and vision is remarkably unchanged. It's almost like context doesn't influence them. 

Two things of practical use. 

One, how do you avoid getting stuck into one of these cycles? The complex answer is about all of these factors I mention above: psychology, biases etc. I propose a simpler answer as a starting point: find out what you mostly worry about. Do you worry about order, or lack off? Do you worry about people's feelings? Do you worry about achievement? Do you worry about meaning? Do you worry about legacy? Look at your work and your feelings. What keeps you up at night, what burns you, what do you always have in the back of your mind? Find out what worries you and then consider the possibility that you always try to fix that in whatever you do and whatever you see around you. This is your bias. This is your obsession. Your nail for which you always have a hammer. Stop worrying, let go and that will likely free yourself to consider things in totally new ways. How do you stop worrying? You just do. You let go, you accept any and all consequences of your absence from a situation and let it unfold without your intervention.

Second, what do you do with yourself and others when you know you're still not stronger than your worries? Influence through context. If you know that despite your best intentions and will power you will still end up doing what you always do, like a smoker trying to quit but always lighting up "just one more", then don't put yourself in situations where you have cigarettes around you. Create work contexts where your triggers are under control.