How to be surprised and thrive

Ten years ago, taxi-cabs were still being hailed and movie rental places were the place to be on a Saturday night with your family in tow.

And now, a new generation of multi-billion dollar companies including Uber, Netflix and AirBnB have over taken the taxi-cab, movie rental and hotel industries. They thrive because of risk and are known as disruptive companies because they disrupt old ways of commerce.

They are transforming the economy into one that is more based on fluid, unspecialized labor that individuals can do on a freelance or contract basis.

At Erreco, we loved this interview with Tania Luna, a Suprisologist, featured in The Washington Post. Luna helps companies embrace the silver lining of change.

Luna states that learning how to prosper in ambiguity and uncertainty is critical for workers and companies regardless of whether they are disruptive companies or brick and mortar businesses.

Surprise is also critical for individuals to live fruitful lives — think of your most memorable moments — how many of them involved the delight of surprise?

 To deal with uncertainty in the marketplace, Luna suggests that companies look at surprise as an opportunity rather than as a threat — embracing this mindset involves embracing change and understanding that nothing is permanent. Life is temporal, life is fleeting and what worked for your business yesterday may not work today, but run away with your creativity and devise an even better strategy. Allow your surprises to be a moment of growth.

She encourages company executives to be attune to what is happening with the market — be present with ambiguity and just listen to it, don’t react hastily.

And she states that it is important to  be transparent with your workers and your shareholders. Make sure everyone knows about your business goals, priorities and struggles so that when you are moving at a fast speed, members of your organization have more autonomy to make decisions that will benefit your company. This transparency also builds trust, respect and company loyalty. She also notes that more information means more security in a time of insecurity. Nothing incites panic like a lack of communication.

Luna used to be a control freak until she embraced the art of surprise. The Washington Post quotes her saying, “I may feel more secure if I plan everything, control everything. But I’ll feel more joyful, connected and alive if I embrace the things around me that I can’t control or predict.”