I’ve been working through some excellent non-fiction recommended to me by an acquaintance at one of NYC’s ‘Big 4’ consulting firms, written by philosopher and consultant Christian Madsbjerg, founder of ReD Associates. The firm, as far as I can tell via the public front, gathers different forms of experts in the humanities and social sciences to apply the study of phenomenology (experience, in a nutshell) to the advising and consulting of firms on the construction of products and user experiences (UXs).
It’s philosophy, applied to business. [My undergrad degree! That one time my dad told me that philosophy wasn’t so worthwhile…]
These two books were Sensemaking, on one hand, and The Moment of Clarity, on the other. I encourage the both of these books, as they are aides both to business strategy and work as well as to personal life, if applied correctly.
Bringing to consciousness the awareness of one’s own experience as such (in other words, analyzing one’s experience, or reflecting upon it, once it has happened) is a first key step in the acquisition and possession of a deeper self-knowledge, and the way in which people experience themselves and the products they consume–and, you could say, the books that they read (the reader’s experience, in a nutshell)–helps explain why certain things sell, and others don’t; why certain products shape a preference for a particular kind of experience, and therefore a particular way of living.
It’s a project of its own, to understand how you, as a writer, for example, are responsible for building out a project that opens up a new kind of experience in the reader, or one that brings to consciousness a more classic experience: a sense of nostalgia, or basic childlikeness and wonder before a story that feels familiar, and more.
I was pleasantly shocked by these books, given that my undergraduate degree was in the philosophy of the human person (a study of the person, and in its own implicit way, a study of experience).
It’s a bit late for July 4th, but the below is a sort of shout-out to why the American culture can and ought to take the arts more seriously–and this will include, without hesitation, the best fiction. It’s, once more, why I. Love. Agenting.
Enjoy. It’s only 13.5 minutes long.