The click moment or how to seize opportunity in an unpredictable world (According a book by Frans Johansson)
The click moment hinges on 2 very simple but highly provocative ideas:
- The fist one is that success is random, far more random than we have come to believe. Indeed, when you dig deeply into personal or corporate success, you can find that somewhere, at some point, someone got lucky
- The second one is that there are a number of specific actions that individuals and organizations can take to capture randomness and focus it in our favor
Part 1: AN UNPREDICTABLE WORLD
The world is an unpredictable place and actually serendipity, randomness and luck lead success. Individuals and organizations cannot plan the success. Planning success is impossible because the rules of the world change all the time and these rules change in unpredictable ways. Success is like an art todayI mean without clear and define rulesThe only success that you can plan is when rules remain static and very well-known (classical sports for example like tennis or boxing). In this case, success is led by the 10 000 hour rule (if you practice the same endeavor for a total of 10 000 hour you can predict the success).
Randomness is not just a bug today, randomness is the dominant feature in our lives and careers. Success comes from serendipitous meetings, the random insight and lucky bet!
But, if we cannot predict success, what are we left with? You can focus on powerful approaches to make the most of random opportunities. But why are we so hesitant to embrace serendipity and randomness?
Because we think that we think in a rational way. But actually, where does this rationale come from? It seems that it comes from wherever you need it to come from. Some of us need a plan that makes sense, some of us need a plan that emotionally grips us and others need a plan that speaks to their goals in life and so on
The key idea is that, the reason behind the plan or the strategy is not especially important since success is unpredictable and since success is the result of randomness and serendipity. The real purpose of strategy is not to describe the right way of the success. The real purpose of the strategy is to motivate us to act.
That said, some approaches are far better at seizing opportunity in an unpredictable world than others. The part 2 of this article will show how to do just that.
Part 2: SEIZING OPPORTUNITY
In part 1, we looked how randomness drives success. Contrary to popular belief, most successes not occur as a result of logic and rigorous analysis. Instead, it comes from things that we cannot predict and plan for such as serendipitous moments, unusual combinations or lucky breaks. However or perhaps because of it, we always need to have a convincing rationale to fuel our actionsno matter where rationale come from!
In part 2, we will look at how to think rationally about using randomness to drive success in our lives and organizations. Instead, randomness must be the plan. So, we must increase the amount of randomness and we must also capture when it shows up!
There are 3 ways to capture randomness that represents three ways of thinking about success. The first one is â€œclick momentsâ€, the second is â€œpurposeful betsâ€ and the third is â€œcomplex forcesâ€
if we want to understand how to seize opportunity in an unpredictable word, you must use all three approaches.
The click moments are unexpected moments which tend to create something â€œout the boxâ€ with 3 qualities that distinguish them from the other moments:
First, click moments tend to occur when two separate concepts, ideas or people meet or collide.
Second, click moment are impossible to predict. They rarely come when e need or expect them. Most of the time, click moments are the result of a set random insight that come together all at once.
Third, click moments spark an emotional response that provides us with an irrational strong desire to get ahead and act.
A. Click moment : An unexpected moment witch make an unexpected opportunity
Click moments can happen anywhere at any time and influence our personal and professional lives. If you want to increase our chances to reach greatness, you must increase the number of click moments. The following lines will show you how.
- There are 6 ways to increase your chances to create a click moment:
- Create diverse teams with that cut across as many dimensions as possible such as culture, gender, department to mix different perspectives and objectives
- Create a collision-prone environment: if you can´t create a diverse team, bring together people who do not have a reason to connect. Perhaps, the fastest and easiest way to accomplish this is by organizing social events.
- Attend conferences or gathering that have nothing to do with your field because new ideas and insights can come from people outside the firm
- Look for unlikely impressions for example by reading magazines out of your field to connect concepts in that magazine with challenges you are facing at work
- Follow your curiosity because curiosity is the way your intuition tells you that something interesting is going on
- Reject predictable path especially if you need to compete against stated rules and traditions
Creating conditions that can occur click moments boost our chance of having them but they are not enough. Instead, we have to execute our ideas and in doing so we have to place a bet, a purposeful bet.
B. Purposeful bets: A set of random attempts or endeavors that increase your chance of success.
A click moment represents a sudden opportunity, a turning point that can push us in a new unpredictable and random direction. To fully exploit this magic click moment you have to place a set of purposeful bets to try hard to turn this click moment into in a real success. Never forget that our chance of success while placing a purposeful bet remain more or less the same for each bet and your chances of success are not directly linked with your level of resources (time, money and energy). That´s why is a bet !
- How to place purposeful bets:
- Place many bets: Even if the idea that almost no amount of planning or dedicated resources will affect our chances of success is extraordinarily counterintuitive, it´s true. That´s why it is better to place a set of purposeful bets than place a big bet that wastes all your resources. The more bets you place, the greater the chance for you to succeed. How many bets do I have to place to have a great success ; about Two to four pieces a day !!
- Minimize the size of the bets: Smaller bets not only allow you more opportunities to get lucky. They allow for more iterations within any given idea because you get more shots at getting the project right. The more iterations you can get through, the higher the chance of success
- Take the smallest executable step: This smallest executable step usually requires thinking very creatively about existing resources. The smallest executable step is to test a new idea with no extra budget or time. Stop analyzing, start executing. If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.
- Calculate affordable loss, not ROI: ROI is not a good guide in an unpredictable world. Instead of measuring the acceptable return on investment, focus on calculating the affordable loss. This calculation allows you to determine if you are in jeopardy if you project fails.
- Use passion as fuel: It´s critical for organizations to screen the passion of people involved. This is the best way to understand if they will have the will to keep placing many bets.
Making many small purposeful bets, fueled by passion and calibrated by affordable loss is the second way out of three to channel the randomness of the business in an unpredictable world.
C. COMPLEX FORCES
Complexity is inherent in the interconnected web of relationship that make up the world in which we live and work. Sometimes, any actions we take is likely to create a number of :
- Unexpected consequences (a series of next steps that can be impossible to foresee)
- Ripple effects (a series of connections that can be impossible to foresee)
- Unexpected outcomes ( a series of outcomes created by self reinforcing loop)
The fact is that our world is more and more complex, so there are more and more complex forces that interact with one another to create random successes, moments, actions or changes.
You cannot purposefully ignite specific complex forces but you can and you must take advantage of those forces once they start acting.
- How to harness complex forces
Success in a complex, unpredictable world involves not only creating click moments or placing purposeful bets but also harnessing random forces that affect our lives, organizations. We will look at 5 different tactics that help us to attract these forces and take advantage of them
- Stop analyzing, start acting:
Even if you do not a crystal clear goal in mind, it´s still better to do something and tell people about it. Doing something is the best way to expose yourself of unexpected consequences, ripple effect or unexpected outcomes.
- Take a closer look at surprises:
The big opportunity is almost never what you would guest because we tend to overlook or ignore results and outcomes that don´t conform with our expectations or need. But surprises are actually a big deal.
- Look for opening:
Because it is impossible to fully control events that occur around us, we cannot miss an unexpected event that provides a pathway to breakthrough success. Be always ready to catch this unexpected opening.
- Spot Momentum and Intensity: because success feeds on itself in a self loop
- Double down: Doubling down means that you invest time and money into the project not only to continue to be successful but to go bigger and faster
In conclusion, let´s keep in mind 3 things:
First: World is unpredictable and changing at a record pace and unless the rules of the game are locked in our field, these changes will make our success ever more random!
Second: Corporate hates random and yet we need it to succeed! How can we reconcile these two facts? By creating an action plan to harness random!
For example: stop analyzing, start acting and use passion as fuel!
Third: we cannot control all events around us. So, when an opening occurs, double down to take advantage of it because it doesn´t appear every day