On the one hand we aren’t surprised by the uncertainty of everyday life, but on the other we believe that success can be analyzed and planned for. It is a revealing paradox. The implications are explosive and they obliterate every common-sense notion we have about strategy and planning.
The Click Moment is about two very simple but highly provocative ideas. The first is that success is random—far more random than we would like to believe. The second is that there are a number of specific actions that we, as individuals and organizations, can take to capture this randomness and focus it in our favor.
According to Johansson, strategy, planning, and careful analysis can no longer guarantee strong performance; today’s business environments are far too random and complicated. But when you dig deep into the actions of successful people and organizations, you’ll find one common theme. A turning point occurs—a major client signs on, a new competitor redefines the market, an unlikely idea surfaces—and they take advantage of that serendipity to change their fate. Consider how:
• Diane von Furstenberg saw Julie Nixon Eisenhower on TV wearing a matching skirt and top, and the timeless, elegant wrap-dress was born.
• Microsoft Windows was on the brink of being shut down until two individuals met unexpectedly at a party and altered the fate of the world’s dominant computer operating system.
• Starbucks sold high-end brewing equipment and coffee by the pound until Howard Schultz experienced his first latte in a café in Milan.
• Nike was stumped on how to invent a spikeless trainer when a legendary running coach poured latex on a waffle iron.
Each of these individuals experienced a “click moment”—a rare point of opportunity that was completely unexpected. But they capitalized on their luck in ways that paid off significantly and altered their organizations’ strategies and the course of their lives.
Johansson uses stories of successful people and companies throughout history to illustrate the specific actions we can take to create more click moments, place lots of high-potential bets, open ourselves up to chance encounters, and harness the complex forces of success that follow.