Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World

The key to success in any field is a matter of practising a specific task for 10,000 hours, argued Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller, Outliers. Frans Johansson, author of The Click Moment, disagrees. In today’s market, the tried-and-true rules are changing so fast that formulas for success are disintegrating, and multi-million-dollar insights can strike anybody, anywhere, at any time. In short, randomness is taking over.

Johansson, at the 2015 HRPA Conference in Toronto, Ontario, obliterates the idea that success comes from analysis, planning, strategy or practice, and suggests that it has much more to do with serendipity or randomness than we would like to believe. In order to thrive in an unpredictable world, we must increase the serendipity in our lives and careers and learn how to seize opportunities. We need to turn our attention to those times when luck and skill collide — something he refers to as a “click moment”. “If a good idea is a light bulb going off over your head, a true click moment is a supernova exploding at 100 billion degrees,” says Johansson.

He argues that it is futile for workplace leaders to seek out the right answer to the plethora of business problems that exist. Rather, winning organizations are those that create environments enabling them to engender, notice and capitalize on click moments.

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