February 11, 2009

Well, reading one of many magazines I still get in print — I found reference to a term which really made me think long and deeply over this week.  Phase was “vuja de” – a play on deja vu of course, but when I did some googling, I found some references to it which inspired me to actually blog about it.  I am what some might called “activated” about this, and think that there really might be something here, which could apply to many organizations (my present work environment included) – and that just possibly, the worsening economic situation in the US just might be able to be twisted into a positive business opportunity for those special people who understand and utilize “vuja de” correctly.

So here are the references which I found:

Anthropologists in Pursuit of ‘Vuja De’
By: Fast Company staff
Fri Feb 8, 2008 at 2:27 AM

Everybody has heard of deja vu, right? It’s the distinct feeling you’ve been here before. When you go out to do field work in Anthropologist mode, you should aspire to the opposite: a state of mind my friend Bob Sutton at Stanford calls “vuja de.” Vuja de happens when you enter a situation you’ve been in a thousand times before, but with the sense of being there for the first time.

As French novelist Marcel Proust said, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” So if you want to find untapped innovation opportunities, watch the world around you with “fresh eyes.” Go for a sense of vuja de, and then ask yourself why things are the way they are. Why do people wear a watch when their cellphone keeps perfect time? Why don’t movie theaters sell soundtracks as you exit the film? Why do we all have answering machines to record messages from telephone callers, but nothing to record a message from someone who stops by our home or office? Why don’t business guys wear hats in the winter, even when it’s below freezing?

Once you start asking the right vuja de questions, you might find that the answers can lead to big opportunities for your business.


CLO, Feb 2009
“With fresh eyes, she could see the same thing as everyone else but understand it in a unique way. The late George Carlin coined a phrase for this gift ‘vuja de’. It’s the opposite of ‘deja vu’, which is that feeling you get that you’ve been there or done that before. Vuja de, on the other hand, means looking at something familiar, but in a way you’ve never seen it before. Let’s face it: Most companies in most industries have a kind of tunnel vision. They chase the same opportunities everyone else is chasing, they miss the same opportunities that everyone else is missing. It’s the companies that see a different game what win big. The most important question for innovation today is ‘What do you see that the competition does not see?’ Answering that question requires vuja de.”


So readers, if you want to make a project succeed, in these unstable and tough economic times – you might just want to see “the same old things” as something new and try to solve your problems more creatively – you might just make some money doing it!