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Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

In Goal-Free Living I discuss how to create luck by being less goal-focused. I was recently copied on an email sent to a sales team at a client of mine. Here is how this one sales director interpreted these concepts for his team – with a paraphrase from the book.

During my Asia trip I went through Stephen Shapiro’s book “Goal-free Living” for the second time and again I noted a very interesting statistical comparison he is doing about the fact that some people always seems to be lucky and always tend to be on the right place at the right time.

“If you have 366+1 people in the same room, then you will have a 100% guarantee that two people in the same room will have the same birth date.

But how many people do you need if you want a 50% chance that two people have the same birth date – it is actually only 23 people, statistically.

If you want 90% probability it is only 40 people.

OK! But what about a particular birthday e.g. your own birthday – how many people do you need in a room to have a 50/50 chance that there is another person with your birthday? – You need over 600 people!.

This small thing shows that the odds of a generalized event happening is quit high – and that a particular event happening is quite low.”

Meaning:

If you always do the things in a particular way (in the same way without being open for more generalized and new situations) for you to be “lucky”, you need a lot of things coming together in a particular way – which gives you very small odds.

But if you are open to new ways and are willing to change your approach in a given situation, the odds are much more in your favor.

In sales; always read the situation – think about different ways to do the things – take all possibilities into consideration – do not act in a particular way every time.

This is the reason why I am always asking some of you in the sales team to change approach and be open to new ways of doing the things – and always adjust your approach in a given situation!

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