Our third guest is Lane Becker, author of Get Lucky. Thanks to our partners at CGI, we’re going to spend 90 minutes diving into his book.
Are some people or organizations “just lucky”? Science shows that luck is really just applied opportunity—but being able to take advantage of opportunities requires freedom and agility, and an openness to new experiences. Those are often lacking in large organizations, from global conglomerates to governments. Yet without an opportunistic attitude, these organizations are doomed to stagnate.
Lane Becker moved from a design career with web pioneer Adaptive Path into the role of startup founder with Get Satisfaction, a startup that rode the second tech boom and encouraged brands and customers to discuss products in public—in many ways foreshadowing the public forums and smart FAQs of today. Based largely on that experience and his work with clients, he wrote Get Lucky in an attempt to define what makes some organizations “lucky.” Lane and co-author Thor Muller list eight distinct strategies: Motion, Preparation, Divergence, Commitment, Activation, Connection, Permeability, and Attraction. Each gets its own chapter, complete with case studies and bevaioural science to back them up.
The book was originally written in 2012, a time of relatively unbridled optimism about tech. The iPhone was two years old; Facebook had just introduced Groups. More importantly for our purposes, Lane went on to work for Code for America as Director of Products & Startups; 18F as innovation specialist; the US Government’s GSA as Program Lead for 10x Investments; and president of the Wikimedia Foundation. So he’s had a decade to reflect on the book’s lessons within civil society, nonprofits, and the government itself.