We all know the great Yogi Berra quote, "It's like deja vu all over again." Deja vu of course is the funny feeling we get that we've experienced something before. Typically, it's used as a way of characterizing something tedious or frustrating that is happening yet again.
Adam Grant, in his excellent new book called Originals, introduces a term unfamiliar to me; vuja de. "Deja vu occurs when we encounter something new, but it feels as if we've seen it before. Vuja de is the reverse - we face something familiar, but we see it with a fresh perspective that enables us to gain new insights into old problems."
He goes on to write, "Rice professor Erik Dane finds that the more expertise and experience people gain, the more entrenched they become in a particular way of viewing the world. He points to studies showing that expert bridge players struggled more than novices to adapt when the rules were changed, and that expert accountants were worse than novices at applying a new tax law. As we gain knowledge about a domain, we become prisoners of our prototypes."
This aligns nicely of course with one of my previous blog posts, "Power, Prestige, and Performance make you Stubborn, Stupid and Resistant to Valid Evidence." It often takes an outsider to apply lessons learned in different industries, jobs and hobbies in order to deliver real innovation.
So, for all you Lean Legal types out there...don't be afraid to consider ideas that haven't been generated by other lawyers.;)