The Science of Luck

What are the chances?

Increasing Luck for Businesses and Introverts

Part two of an interview with Frans Johansson, author of The Click Moment

Frans Johansson is the author of The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World. Don't forget to read part one of my interview with Frans. In this second part of the interview, Johansson tells us how businesses and introverts can increase their luck.

What are some ways that organizations can make use of the click moment?
Make it a policy to “reject the predictable.” Whenever someone in my company brings me something, if it smells predictable, it may be the right choice at this point in time, but my initial instinct will be to reject it and try to come up with something different. By making it a policy, it’s easier for people to do. By rejecting the predictable, you are inviting chance by design.
How can individuals invite chance by design?
Following your curiosity. I think that’s harder for people to actually figure out how to do. They may be curious, but we confine ourselves to the siren song of work. It takes practice to allow yourself to follow your curiosity.
If you know no one, your chance of having an unexpected meeting is low. It follows that if you know a lot of people, you increase that, as long as those people are not just the expected people. This is what I come across—you can work hard, and not expose yourself to serendipity at all. You can know a lot of people, and not expose yourself to serendipity at all. You can have a skill set, but not use it in any type of surprising way.
There has to be an element of surprise or the unexpected.
A lot of ways to capture randomness, like talking to random people, are geared towards extroverts. Do you have any advice for introverts?
I have met people who said that it was good exercise for them to be more extroverted, outgoing, and reach out more. For some, that might work. But I also tend to believe that you’re most effective when you’re authentic to yourself. So you’re not the one who will start talking to the person sitting next to you on an airplane seat. Fine!

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My advice is find other ways to introduce the unexpected. Ask yourself, where do you get your other insights and ideas from? You don’t have to just get them from people. Look at what are you reading, what websites are you going to, whose Twitter feed are you following, or whatever it is that you use to get insights. Be sure that you mix them up to open yourself up to unexpected insights.

Karla Starr is a writer, member of the National Book Critics Circle, former books editor of Willamette Week, and former books columnist for Seattle Weekly.


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