Why do some guys get all the girls? This was a question my Dad asked himself in his teens. He noticed that some of his classmates always had a date. They were not smarter or richer or funnier or better looking. So, why did they have all the luck?
Later on, my Dad devolved a hypothesis. A hypothesis his lucky friends confirmed. Seemingly lucky guys ask girls out more often.
Shy boys may achieve a zero percent failure rate because they never ask, so they never get turned down. All things being equal, lucky boys, on the other hand, may ask ten girls on dates and get turned down nine times, but they get to go on one date.
This rule of probability does not just apply to dating. The more times at bat, the better the chance of hitting the baseball. The more resumes sent, the better the chance of getting an interview. The more pitches, the better the chance of securing a sale.
What outsiders see as luck or talent insiders see as hard work, practice, grit, and determination. Consider, the now successful author reflecting on the 93 rejection letters she received in the early years. Or the big name actor talking about getting turned down a thousand times for acting jobs. Or the path many keynoters follow starting on hundreds of very small stages, giving presentations for free until they make it to the big stage. Most of us invest years of hard work and eventually, maybe, we become an overnight success.
The path does not just apply to individuals it applies to organizations too. Just like in dating, there is no way to guarantee a zero percent failure rate unless we do not try. Successful organizations try many things. They are always experimenting. They parallel path. They test before launching. They explore many ideas. They make failure safe. They normalize change. They cultivate grit and resilience.
Since revolutions are accelerating, we need to try more and try more often.