How corporates can benefit from Serendipity


The search for a spot in the light in a fast changing world have been a big topic along directory boards all over the world. That leads executives on reflecting what needs to be changed. Is it the approach to the client? The transparency? Being more “green”? All of them have been approached along the new way of working.

Caring for your employees needs is no longer exclusive to tech companies. More and more companies are letting go of suit and ties. As a result they explore the benefits of a more human work environment. For an instance, EY, one of the biggest consultancy firms in the world is now adopting flex working. Gerdau, a steel producer, is another unexpected case. They let go of the desks, ties and 9 to 5 work time while replacing them with sofas, shorts and flex work times.

Beyond dressing rules, flexible times, sofas, nap pods, free food and ping pong tables there is the social factor. They all represent a trend. Because of all the option employees become autonomous and self steering. More than ever it is important to know how to prioritise and in order to know this, is important to have an aligned vision. But how can a company with thousands of employees make sure all of them have the same vision? Hence the importance of being connected. Instead of just sitting in a desk from 9 to 5, it is important to create an ecosystem where everyone feels being a part of and responsible for. Now here are the how the power of unexpected relevant encounters, also known as serendipity, can help creating an ecosystem.

Optimising knowledge and skills

I worked in one of the biggest media companies of the world for 4 year. The company employs 10.000 people worldwide. That makes it pretty hard to get to know everyone who works there. Now imagine getting to know what everyone is up to and what are their hidden talents. That’s where serendipity and matchmaking could give a little hand. By matching what you are working today with the tags the employees chose, and not what their job description says, you can find help in unexpected place. It is also important to see that it gives employees who are looking to learn something different opportunities. That’s how you optimise knowledge and skills inside a organisation.

Co-creating and letting innovation in

While you can discover new talents and skills inside an existing organisation, the way to let innovation in is by opening your doors. Achmea, one of the biggest insurance companies in the Netherlands, has been giving a show with LAB55. It is an open space inside their headquarters in Apeldoorn. There, freelancers and entrepreneurs are welcome to work and connect. In monthly events they are welcome to pitch their ideas to Achmea itself. Was with this initiative that Achmea started collaborating with 46 local entrepreneurs and start ups, accelerating innovation and creating an ecosystem.

Creating culture and an ecosystem

Some people might forget that who makes the work inside an office are human beings. Yes, actual human beings. People like you and me. Social beings that enjoy to laugh, exchange ideas, have good conversations, being creative and having fun. Encouraging serendipity is about encouraging being social and being human, not a robot who is only there to exercise a single job description. Because of that perception it is so important to focus in ecosystem and sharing values consequently creating a culture. People are looking for more than a good salary, but for a purpose and a balanced lifestyle. It is important to acknowledge the humanity of corporations and make the best out of it. That envolves everyone around it: its employees, vendors, partners, investors, families, the community in which it is in. The way to do it? Invite them in and connect.