Serendipity is a beautiful, unexpected thing when it happens to you.

While you cannot apply a formula to generate serendipity some writers suggest there are things you can do to create the potential for more.

Finance Journalist Jason Zweig describes his approach for Structured Serendipity that includes both reading papers from disciplines outside his own and deliberately doing his reading in a place he might not normally read:

Creativity is a fragile flower, but perhaps it can be fertilized with systematic doses of serendipity…

In my view, we should each invest a few hours a week in reading research that ostensibly has nothing to do with our day jobs, in a setting that has nothing in common with our regular workspaces. This kind of structured serendipity just might help us become more creative, and I doubt that it can hurt.

Or from Game Changer, we can look at Structured serendipity: How Great Ideas Emerge:

Creativity is about thinking new things, that means making uncommon connections between ideas from other domains. When all you do is talk to the same people, read the same thing over and over again you are moving in a straight line along with everyone else. Parallel lines never cross; serendipity requires diversity.

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Featured Image: Structured Serendipity flickr photo by giulia.forsythe shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license