Amidst layovers in my recent international flight back home, I got a chance to grab Frans Johansson’s recent book – The Click Moment. Everyone’s life is filled with moments that have defined some very significant actions of theirs – afterwards. For many, childhood dreams have gotten fulfilled by sensing and responding to those special moments – what Frans Johansson calls “Click Moments,” the name of his recent book aptly subtitled, “Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World." In this fascinating book, Johansson weighs in a lot with his perspective of why some activities take very significant and focused efforts, whereas in some arenas people seem to have it too easy in being anointed with super success, name, fame and fortune.
Frans Johansson focuses on the interplay effect – assessing the interplay between diversity, creativity, and luck that he believes brings out some of the best innovations this world has seen. In his earlier book, The Medici Effect, which I read eight years ago, Frans listed the ways to bring intersection between different disciplines easy to manage and listed a few key things to make it happen ( taken from my notes dated eight years back):
These techniques include:
- Getting exposure to different cultures
- Broadening one's knowledge and learning capacity
- Encouraging curiosity
- Reversing assumptions
- Taking different perspectives and points of view
- Randomly combining concepts
- Learning to be mentally prepared to see opportunities at the intersection when they present themselves
- Undertaking a variety of diverse occupations, interacting with diverse groups of people looking for connections in unlikely places, and producing a continuous, large quantity of ideas
- Striking a learning balance between sufficient depth and maximum breadth of knowledge and subject-matter
- Reading prodigiously and listening attentively and openly brainstorming
- aAllowing time for ideas to be properly considered (Johansson dispels the myth that deadlines and time pressure encourage innovation).
And now through this new book, in building this framework of reference, Johansson brings out differences across various fields in which humans get successful. Johansson believes the famous Malcolm Gladwell proposition of using 10,000 hours of focused efforts to gain mastery in a particular field is very right and highly relevant in rule-bound domains (sports like tennis, chess, etc.), but that need not be the case in respect of some other domains which call for different types of skills to succeed. He points to success stories like novelist Stephanie Meyer belting out bestselling books with her Twilight Trilogy or the Chocolate Room in Brooklyn, New York started by folks with apparently no experience in chocolate making. The argument built therein is that there’s a substantial part of business success that hinges in good measure on serendipity – essentially a crossover between complexity and chance powered by a drive made through “Purposeful Bets.” By placing purposeful and controlled bets one can lay the seeds of capitalizing on the efforts. The message out to the world is that it’s possible to increase the odds of leveraging unforeseen opportunities through such methods.