Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business
April 2012, Jossey-Bass
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Drive business success by using one commonly overlooked skill: LUCK.
Have you ever envied a competitor who wins by sheer good fortune while you toil away to no end?
It turns out such companies were not blessed by a random stroke of success, but in fact have learned how to diligently harness that one far too overlooked skill: Luck.
In GET LUCKY: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business (April 17, 2012; Jossey-Bass), Thor Muller and Lane Becker reveal that by practicing a specific set of skills we can help maximize luck so that it works in our favor. Muller and Becker call this approach “planned serendipity.”
The book itself is a product of “planned serendipity.” Inspired by their work at Get Satisfaction, the company they co-founded, Muller and Becker began to observe patterns exhibited by “lucky” companies and started their research into the interactions between luck, serendipity, chance, creativity, and business. This research led the authors to identify eight essential skills necessary to create “planned serendipity”: motion, preparation, divergence, commitment, activation, connection, permeability and attraction.
Featuring case studies from such varied companies as 3M, Google, Pixar, Procter & Gamble, In-n-Out, PayPal, CERN tell scores of stories about leveraging luck:
- It’s a myth that the $100 million a year Post-It note owes its success to luck. The conditions 3M created to harness “accidents” was no accident.
- Steve Jobs designed the Pixar building promote the serendipitous collaboration and creativity has become a hallmark of Pixar’s success.
- In-N-Out’s growth wasn’t due to undeserved luck, but instead a deliberate commitment to quality that allowed it to expand smartly unlike Krispy Kreme, whose more aggressive growth plans were far less successful.
Through these and many more examples, GET LUCKY shows how any organization can open up to outside people and ideas, discover unexpected insights by “living” with their customers peer to peer, and deliberately attracting chance collisions that will inspire creativity and new directions.
In a world like ours that is constantly in flux, we need to find a way to succeed while navigating the unpredictable. GET LUCKY provides us with the skills to do just that.