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!


Week 12 CCK08 – Not the end, just thoughts…

November 26, 2008

Well, I am just not sure that the Education system (or should I say TEACHERS) want to change with the latest technology innovations which arrived at their doorstep. In the past, I think Education did take a backseat to Business – getting the hand-me-downs of innovation and techniques, tactices and procedures (TTP). (2020 and beyond, Hans Daanen and Keri Facer, Futurelab, June 2007)

If educators are to shape the future of education…” – well yeah, that is a touch question I think. From my many questions/answers on LinkedIN, the general sense is that Education (at least in the US) is driven by teachers who are resistant to quick change, and are not really interested, in general, with adopting new methods during their tenure. Of course this is referring to the Formal Learning environment — since I have seen and experienced first hand in CCK08 just how willing 2200+ people can be in adopting new methods and tools to collaborate, learn and express interest/opinions.

Thus I would have to conclude that for Education to be successful in the future, it may have to rely more on it’s informal arm and the marketplace will likely reward those institutions which adopt the most important new technologies and capabilities from Web 2.0 that the learners desire/demand. The marketplace is highly efficient in this respect (i.e. see huge growth of Phoenix Online) and I think that increasing financial pressures will come to bear on Formal Learning organizations who are unable/unwilling to adapt to their students’ needs.

No really, too popular to succeed.

October 9, 2008

I learned about the Matthew Principle this week, via some readings…and I am kinda concerned. Defined somewhat like “more will be given to those that already have.”


“For example, popular sites in Google that appear on the first page of search results, are apt to remain so because people seldom search much further than that first page, so there is a positive feedback loop whereby those at the top tend to stay there.”

(“Collectives, Networks and Groups in Social Software for E-Learning” by Dron/Anderson)


So how does this affect eLearning trends  — I am concerned that current and future innovation might get stiffled by this effect – as can be seen by my informal survey performed on LINKEDIN recently, where I asked the question “Why is it so difficult to change the practice of Education?” -to which I received some interesting answers – but my summation was that existing condition have huge inertia which are terribly hard to change. Then I asked “How come more people don’t teach using stories?”, and a number of people answered because teachers might or might not see the value in changing from their historical (safe) methods.

Maybe the sun will continue to rise day by day, and new innovations will somehow displace yesterday’s hottest new thing, but I am simply a little skeptical – given the enormity of the Internet, and incredibly fragmented nature of technology across the globe (millions or billions of capable XML/PHP/AJAX programmers), making it ever so hard for a new innovation to garner a sizeable marketshare against not 10 but 10,000 open source, free alternatives!  Has our favorite tool’s popularity now become an impediment fo our innovation to succeed, and become the future new-new thing? (Maybe this is MS Office’s problem?)

Evolution of Learning

September 22, 2008

Quick note: Just wondering if others had already thought of this:

Just as water power was one of the primary kinetic energy sources of the early Industrial Revolution — I wonder if Web 2.0 contains the “kinetic energy source” for the current Learning (sic eLearning) Revolution?

Later electrical distribution lines allowed mills and factories to located away from the flowing water – just like the “distance connections” spoken of in Connectivism might allow for learning to be facilitated “anyplace, anytime” using these electronic channels to funnel “the energy”?