Have you ever said the words: “it’s a small world”? If you are anything like me you probably have said or thought this a few times.
The seemingly curious connections or “ah-hah moments” that we experience in both personal and professional lives are links between the past and present and between the professional and personal (and some would say material and spiritual) aspects of our lives. It’s a way to make the unfamiliar (and sometimes scary) areas of our lives less so; of learning lessons from the past to enrich our future. The same thing can be said about organizations and organizational learning; that connections between different functional areas or geographic markets (Latin America and Europe for example) can lead to the innovations that characterize successful companies.
I ran into someone who I had not seen in about three years. Seeing them again brought back some of the same concerns or issues that were so present in my life three years ago. But spending some time reflecting on the experience, I realized that I had overcome many of those work issues and that I was now a different and more mature professional; I had learned from the past and was ready to tackle the future.
People come in and out of our lives for different reason and only you as an individual can make sense or draw conclusions from those interactions. What I would encourage you to do is to try to spend a few minutes thinking about connections and drawing from experiences in work and professional life to go out and do something innovative.