Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review of "Click Moment" by Frans Johansson - Follow-up to "The Medici Effect"

Frans Johansson's watershed book, "The Medici Effect" changed my life.  It gave me categories and language to  understand what I already instinctively understood about intersectional thinking.  The book served as a springboard for many conversations with clients, as well as serving as the intellectual fodder for several leadership conferences I sponsored.  I was eager to see what Frans would come up with in his follow-up book.  I was not disappointed.  "The Click Moment" builds on the intellectual capital of "The Medici Effect" and offers copious examples of situations in which a company or an individual has seized a "click moment" opportunity in an unpredictable world.

In the chapter entitled "How to Create Click Moments," the author discusses the topic of "Luck" in impacting whether a person or an enterprise will achieve consistent success.  He cites the work of psychologist, Richard Wiseman.  "He was interested in whether people who considered themselves lucky behaved any differently from people who considered themselves unlucky. (It turns out that roughly 50 percent of us consider ourselves lucky, 14 percent unlucky,and the rest neither one.) . . . Wiseman learned that extreme conscientiousness can be a strong deterrent to getting lucky.  Conscientiousness is strongly associated with focused achievement.  It is the type of behavior that insures execution, but that also allows us to miss the great ideas, projects, improvements or connections that keep popping up around us.  Unfortunately, by rigidly pouring all of our effort into one approach, we miss out on the unexpected paths to success.  In this sense, it is quite possible to 'try too hard.'" (Page 119)

The tactical take away from these insights are the following four principles that the author explores in depth:

1) Take Your Eyes off of the Ball
2) Use Intersectional Thinking
3) Follow Your Curiosity
4) Reject the Predictable Path

"Similarly, each of us has our best chance of creating click moments by searching in fields, industries, and cultures that are different from our own - something I call intersectional thinking.  In 'The Medici Effect' I went into great detail about why these intersections can be so fruitful, but here I will simply say that diversity is the key to unleashing surprising and game-changing insights." (Page 122)

Johansson is building a very successful career - as an author, speaker and consultant - in teaching us and encouraging us to think differently so that we are well positioned to act differently and more effectively.  This latest book is his gift to those who are intellectually flexible enough to try out new ideas and practices.



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