Truth be told, as much as we want to believe that our scenario planning and strategic foresight will deliver an idea and plan that hits a home run every time, statistically it’s just not that simple.

Why is Gangnam Style the world’s most watched video on Youtube? Did PSY and his abnormally brilliant advisors have some kind of foresight unique to them that could predict that this odd music video you set the world alight? No. It was a fuke. A one in a million, a stroke of luck.

Fact is – randomness in life is far more prevalent than what we give it credit for. As pattern seeking mammals we naturally believe in the concepts of linear regression and see cause and effect in just about ever aspect of our reality. But as Prof Tim Noakes will tell you, correlation is no proof of causation. So as Linus Pauling once said: ‘The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas’.

In other words, if you want success with something, make sure you have lots of horses in the race, ’cause there’s just no way of knowing which one will win.

Here are two presentations [one by the author of The Drunkard’s Walk, Leonard Mlodinow, and one from last year’s XOXO festival by Darius Kazemi] on this exact topic, which are both interesting to consider.


[thanks Sean]

So the moral of the story is…don’t worry too much about how accurate or right your ideas are, just have lots of them and put them out there. You’ll just never know which one will work.

Previously: Maybe you just got lucky – Cherryflava

Written by Jonathan Cherry
Jonathan Cherry is the editor of Cherryflava. An innovation consultant, futurist, speaker and entrepreneur.