Experience can make you wary of the word “coincidence”, and turn you into someone with a bias for causality.

Therein lies the biggest mistake experienced people make – a continual quest for causality.

Coincidences happen. Some people even call it luck – good or bad.

One such coincidence happened to me some years ago at work. For proprietary reasons I cannot share details, but I will cover the broad gist.

A sporadic failure occurred, so we tried to check what had changed in the same period that might be responsible for the failure. There was a process change that occurred at the exact same period that the failure started. We thought it was an aha moment. We reversed the process change. The sporadic failure did not occur again for another 1 month. Then, it occurred again. I quickly went to check if someone had implemented the process change again. To my surprise, or should I say disappointment, no change was effected. It was only then we sat down to go deep on what this sporadic failure was actually nudging us to check, and like magic the solution arrived. We re-instated the process change, and have continued to get the benefits, without any sporadic failure for 5 years and counting.

I recently got a call from an old friend still working in the area. We laughed so hard when we talked about how cocksure we were about causality.

The truth you discover through observation will always make you smile, and where more than one discover it, laughter erupts.

– Osasu Oviawe

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