Sunday, May 5, 2013

Can you plan serendipity?

Serendipity is the unexpected...can it be structured and bottled?

Rachel Emma Silverman wrote about this in the WSJ, May 1, 2013.

Companies are not leaving chance They are looking at what makes 2+2=5 and trying to institutionalize it.

Companies are analyzing their teams down to the ground, trying to fit skill sets together like puzzle pieces, and arranging for people to be thrown together where they might spawn the "big idea."

They also put "playful" prompts in elevators and on walls. Maybe the THWIM thing (see title of this blog) came from one of those in the olden days. THINK?

Google makes sure each worker is never more than a 2.5 minute walk from every other worker.

What do you wanna bet they still text?

Zappos closes off halls and a skybridge to make sure people have to go out on the sidewalk where they will encounter supposedly inspiring common folk. Expect a homeless app any day.

People also work in what is basically the building lobby--it's magic, said one exec.

People with common interests are matched up for lunch. They can even lunch with people in overseas offices via a monitor. has yes and no doors. You answer a question, such as "Is your work tapping into your inner genius?", by walking through one door or the other.

Is there a door for "Would you like to slam this door?" Enough already! Retreats, executives swapping work responsibilities...I need a morphine drip to even type more of this!

How about a million dollars and 10% of the backend for every patent you bring in that makes any money?

I could get real spontaneous for that!