No one likes to think their successes are the result of pure chance. Most cite their hard work and diligence first, giving the roll of the dice last billing in the achievement department. Why give all that credit to something beyond our control?
In their new book, Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business, Thor Muller and Lane Becker argue that luck is not only within your control, it’s something you must harness as your own personal ally. We’re not talking about “dumb luck” here, but rather something the two successful entrepreneurs call “planned serendipity,” or the ability to take chance experiences and distill them into eight skills: motion, preparation, divergence, commitment, activation, connection, permeability, and attraction.
In this portion of the book, Muller and Becker show readers how to practice the skill of divergence, making difficult decisions in order to take advantage of challenging, serendipitous environments. They use the separate paths of two major book retailers to illustrate their point. Read on to find out how Barnes & Noble was able to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace, and how Borders’ response to the same problem left customers cold.
We all like to think we’d jump at a brilliant idea if it smacked us in the head, but few of us or our companies ever do. This, more than anything, is why people like to say that ideas are cheap. In truth, great ideas are priceless, but we only know which ideas are great with the benefit of hindsight. Without a mindset to try out divergent paths, uncertainty and inertia conspire to keep us ignorant. Continue reading »