Harnessing serendipity in the workplace is about more than facilitating the unexpected

What if your company had a great and more frequent ability to discover more valuable things than those for which it were usually looking? How would you then begin to describe your company’s overall level of awareness and sagacity? Does it make your company ’feel lucky’? Inspiring questions and understanding serendipity might give some answers to these and other questions. One of the challenges in answering them lies in the nebulous idea of serendipity in the first place. In many respects the idea of serendipity carries with it a mystical undercurrent and even researchers do not agree about a precise definition. However, serendipity is never a ’happy accident’, it’s much, much more than that. The key elements in the process of serendipity include: 1) a prepared mind 2) an unexpected event, encounter, result or contradiction 3) insight and 4) value creation. Not only is serendipity a process, but it is also a quality of mind.

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