An open mind to chance

I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by an economist who wonders, Can coincidences transform the world? With this question, the speaker invites us to open our minds and “accept” the phenomena of “coincidences” as a skill that we can develop, instead of wanting to control all situations, especially in times of high uncertainty such as the ones we are experiencing. with the health contingency.

The world is probably divided into those who believe in good luck, in coincidences, and those who think that every successful project is the product of efficiency and control. But what if luck turns out to be a skill that one can master and share? Thus, the economist, after having investigated for more than ten years how unpredictable events, such as chance encounters, coincidences, changes of plans, flight delays, human errors or any contingency, can help us to have a better vision of the world, please social circles or generate new professional opportunities.

The theory of “the art and science of good luck” is based on the fact that the ability to take advantage of unexpected opportunities can be taught, and that it can be more productive to get carried away by a coincidence than to try to follow a plan to the letter. To prove it, he describes dozens of examples that he has studied over the past ten years – from couples who met by chance to successful entrepreneurs who came up with a multi-million dollar business idea after a much more elaborate business plan failed them. This is where the diffusion of “chance” comes from as an active part in the processes of seeking opportunities.

So, by learning to identify, act and share coincidences, we can use uncertainty as a means to achieve fuller, happier, and more satisfying lives. A “chance mentality” can help us to consider a fortuitous accident, an absurd coincidence or an unforeseen event as unexpected as the crisis caused by Covid19, as a significant event, rather than a reason for frustration and stress.

It can be seen how incubators, startup accelerators and educational institutions can help to find the contact networks and resources necessary for entrepreneurs if they bet more on the promotion of “chance”, especially in this environment of high level of uncertainty.

Thus, instead of focusing too much on highly structured programs that specify in advance what resources and what contacts, and this could discourage entrepreneurs, incubators should develop support programs to manage and take advantage of uncertainty and encourage coincidences, through practices such as designing flexible business platforms, encourage open-mindedness and organize meetings where entrepreneurs can share ideas that have been the result of chance and broaden the horizons of contacts. This aspect is also valid for companies, which should encourage their workers to meet with people from outside the company, or from different departments to generate new business opportunities.