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“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity

https://fs.blog/2021/01/jootsing/

fs.blog

“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity

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Breaking down the creative process

Breaking down the creative process
  • Acquire a deep understanding of a specific system and the rules it functions with.
  • Take a step outside of that system and look for something surprising that destabilizes its rules.
  • Use what you find as the basis for making something new and creative.

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The meaning of "jootsing"

Jootsing means “jumping out of the system."

Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett describes the process of understanding a system in order to step outside of it as “jootsing,” using a term coined by Douglas Hofstadter.

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Jootsing and creativity

The concept of jootsing shows us that constraints and restrictions are essential for creativity.

Most of us say we want to be creative—and we want the people we work with and for to be creative. The concept of jootsing reveals why we often end up preventing that from happening. Creativity is impossible without in some way going against rules that exist for a good reason.

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The importance of limitations

Limitations are essential because they give us a starting point and a shape to work against.

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Why understanding a system is important for creativity

  • Understanding a system provides something comprehensible to use as a starting point.
  • It makes it possible to come up with something more interesting or useful. If you try to start a creative effort from nothing, you’ll end up with mere chaos.

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Fostering creativity

  • You need to permit a lot of exploration, including ideas that don’t work out.
  • You also need to permit the making of mistakes if you want to foster creativity, because that often ends up leading to new discoveries.

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What happens when we see only the differences

When we focus on the differences, we lose touch with the evidence that the similarities point out. The history of a matter provides context.

  • Consider investors and the dotcom bubble. People saw it as unique. We reasoned that everything would change, and everyone who owned internet companies would prosper. Suddenly profits didn't matter, nor revenue. We thought it would come in time. Market share mattered regardless of the cost to acquire it.
  • We got caught up in the differences and forgot to look at what was the same. Had we looked at the massively transformational industries, such as automobiles, we would've seen that of all the 70 different auto manufacturing operations in the United States, only 3 survived.

Publilius Syrus

"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm."

Publilius Syrus

When Things Go Well

Just like a chain is only as good as its weakest link, a product or service is only as good as they are when they malfunction or break.

We all are programmed to focus on the winning streak, skyrocketing valuation, and great success. What is more instructive and enlightening is to observe what happens during the rough times.

How Companies Behave During Crises

From a customer's standpoint, the reputation of a company is made or broken during the time there is a problem or a crisis.

If a faulty product or service results in endless customer care calls that lead nowhere or jumping legal loops, then the customers will take their business to some other company.

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The quality of our decisions

The quality of our decisions

We all make decisions. However, few of us realize that the process we use to make decisions is more important than the analysis we put into the decision.

Analysis doesn't always lead to good decisions

When it comes to decisions, organizations rely on gathering data and analyzing the decision. People believe that analysis reduces biases, but most business decisions made this way turned out to be poor decisions.

Research shows that good analysis from managers who have good judgment won't necessarily produce good decisions.

Process over analysis in decision making

Analysis alone does not yield good decisions as the people who put it together have a subconscious bias and interest in a particular outcome.

Instead, a disciplined decision process involves guarding against decision-making biases by exploring and discussing major uncertainties or discussing contradictory viewpoints.