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The opposite of deja vu

Because of my poorly planned travel arrangements, I missed Terence Mauri's keynote speech on innovation at the IPG Spring Conference this week. But I've just read the write-up in The Bookseller, and discovered this phrase which I thought was worth sharing: 

Arguing that in order to innovate, businesses need to make the familiar feel unfamiliar, Mauri proposed a “flipping around of déjà vu”.

'Déjà vu is when the unfamiliar feels familiar, but you have to make the familiar feel unfamiliar. Imagine starting your business from scratch - what would you do differently?'

I love that: so much of what I do when facilitating strategy or innovation sessions is aimed at helping people to see familiar situations in unfamiliar ways. It's one of the reasons that coaches who don't know anything about a sector can catalyse breakthroughs: they don't have the same assumptions and can ask 'naïve' questions that can transform the 'expert's understanding of a situation.  

(Apparently the opposite of déjà vu is a thing: it's called jamais vu. Not 'already seen', but 'never seen'. A great habit of mind to cultivate.)

The wonderful Kate Wilson from Nosy Crow picked up the theme of seeing with fresh eyes when she made this comment in her talk on innovation which followed Mauri's talk:

'[Every time we publish a book], we have done something new. To forget that it is the idea and the content that matters, not the form or the process, is a huge mistake.'

One reason why I love publishing so much.

This entry was posted on 12 February 2017 at 19:30 and is filed under publishing | creativity. You can leave a response here.

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