Why entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are lucky

In his book “The Luck Factor” author Richard Wiseman, aptly states “Luck has the power to transform the improbable into the possible, to make a difference between life and death, reward and ruin, happiness and despair.” This is a very real statement, as most of us have all experienced being lucky and unlucky in our lives in ways that have reaped either significant rewards or unhappy consequences. Wiseman’s research and  findings suggest that we all make our own luck. This means that we can potentially avoid bad luck and focus our attention towards creating mostly good luck. This might be one of the reasons why some entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are lucky enough to be successful, and others are not!

ImagineNation™ case study

ImagineNation™ co-created, with Playful Shark, in Israel, a playful, yet serious, business simulation for global corporations to foster innovation,  entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship The highly engaging game is usually played over a two day period that simulates the four key phases of the Start-Up Cycle. It is unique in that it’s design features an integrated mix of gamification, adult learning and experiential learning principles and techniques that develops entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in global organisations.

During Round Four of The Start-Up Game™ players are required to randomly select a number of boxes on a digitized screen containing 20 boxes.  Depending on the “luck” factor, their choice of boxes will reveal on one of three options: they will either increase their personal or Start-Up monetary value, they may go out of business, or their Start-Up will fail.  All the players are aware that, to complete the game, they will end up with one of these outcomes.

This means that the “Luck Factor” will be in full force 

As games are often metaphors for what occurs in real life some of us, when building a Start-Up business, business owners will face these same sort of outcomes. We will be challenged by a number of external factors that will either make or break us; we may experience exponential growth from an unexpected source, we maybe confronted by combative competition that causes us to exit from a customer segment or market, or we may fail due to a cash flow, process or capability challenge.

In round four of The Start-Up Game™ the facilitator deliberately provokes and challenges players with opportunities to make deals; these may be in the form of a cash offer to influence the team to change their box selection decision, it may include a generous cash offer to buy their Start-Up outright so that the team of players can exit the game, or it may involve a significant cash offer to a player to leave their Start-Up and join another team.

Teams are encouraged to generatively debate the rewards and consequences of each offer, to guide their decision, and it’s during this process, that the “Luck Factor” occurs.

Most of us are aware that entrepreneurs typically embody growth and innovation mindsets and realize the value of challenging themselves and the importance of their efforts.

Having this mindset helps creates success and good luck

In the ‘The Luck Factor’ Richard Wiseman reveals four main differences between the lives of lucky and unlucky people:

1.  Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives. In contrast, unlucky people rarely have these sorts of experiences, or they meet people who have a negative effect on their lives.

  •  Lucky people build and maintain a ‘strong network of luck’ through their extrovert nature, becoming ‘social magnets’ who build long lasting attachments with the people they meet. This creates the potential for more chance opportunities to develop.
  • Lucky people have a relaxed attitude to life through their generally calm and relaxed demeanor, which enables them to notice chance opportunities.
  • Lucky people are open to new opportunities and like variety and new ways of doing things in their lives, this openness helps promote chance opportunities.

2.  Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings. Unlucky peoples decisions tend to result in despair and failure.

  • Lucky people listen to their gut feelings and hunches.
  • Lucky people take steps to boost their intuition using retreat and reflection techniques to centre their attention.

3.  Lucky people’s expectations about the future help them fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Unlucky people are the exact opposite.

  • Lucky people expect their good luck to continue well into the future, expecting general and specific events, within and outside of their control, to happen.
  • Lucky people persevere towards the achievement of their goals, even when the chances of success may be slim.
  • Lucky people expect their interactions with others to be lucky and successful.

4.  Lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good fortune. Unlucky people lack this ability and their bad luck causes nothing but upset and ruin.

Next steps actions

As we all make our own luck, we know that we can potentially avoid bad luck and focus our attention towards creating mostly good luck, so if you want to  be a successful entrepreneur or intrapreneur, here are some hard earned tips from The Start-Up Game.

These four principles set the context for round four of The Start-Up Game™, despite having so many random factors outside of their control, players will successfully complete and win the game,  if they take charge of their “luck “ factor by:

–   Being affilliative and eliciting as many ideas and thoughts from their team members, through their openness and enthusiasm for genuine teamwork.

–   Being fully present to, deeply observing, listening for possibilities and actively debating with their fellow team members to explore and reveal opportunities behind the deal/s offered them.

–   Exploring, investigating and challenging each other’s gut and intuition around the deal by asking lots of meta questions.

–   Staying true to their Start-Up team’s vision and expectations of success, being resilient in the face of adversity and taking positive action to elicit more creative and potentially beneficial deals.

Finally, The Start-Up Game™ reinforces the fact that successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs demonstrate powerfully effective growth and innovation mindsets, expect the best, enjoy the challenge and develop the “luck” to see and act on opportunities. They challenge the process by engaging their people and teams towards taking calculated risks through intuitive and gut decision making, validated by deep generative debate.

They hold true to their vision and expectations of success and persevere in the face of adversity, failure and challenge. As famous actor, Will Smith has been known to say “what we call luck, what we call chance is when preparation meets opportunity” which sounds like true motivated entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship to me!

At ImagineNation™ we provide innovation and leadership coaching, education and culture consulting to help businesses achieve their innovation goals. Because we have done most of the learning and actioning of new hybrid mindsets, behaviors and skill-sets already, we can help your businesses also do this by opening people up to their innovation potential.

Contact us now at janet@imaginenation.com.au to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt and grow your business in the digital age.