There is an excellent book by Joe Pine and James Gilmore about the Experience Economy. You can read the original HBR Article HERE They make the case that what society values has transitioned from commodities to goods to services and now experiences.
We experienced the experience economy at RH or Restoration Hardware. This Chicago Gold Coast location blurs the lines between retail and residential, hospitality and home. Check out this inspiring video where you can get a glimpse into the amazing transformation of the Three Arts Building.
Why does experience matter? Effective change involves an experience of moving from the old to the new. Whether it is a new process, a new role or a new location most people get stuck in the status quo of the present. You create excitement and more successful change when you facilitate a multi-dimensional experience.
Here are a few tips on making a memorable experience:
1.Use what connects to your group. For example, when the Lurie Children’s Hospital moved all the sick children to a new facility, they used a teddy bear and told the story of him taking a journey. On the day of the move, each child received a teddy bear. What is the teddy bear of your change audience?
Everyone tunes in to the WIIFM station – make sure that you are broadcasting on it!
2. Imagine a movie set. Think of the whole experience as a “play,” including the cast, costumes, set, and props. Workplace transformation is a change happening at many organizations. One of our clients had a video created which showed the new environment and how people would work. Another client transformed a room and staged the entire concept of the new workplace. From the new coffee bar to the white noise machines, they made sure that everyone could experience the new environment before it happened. This prevented a flurry of communication reassuring people about the size of the space, the noise level and other important details that mattered to the employees.
Incorporate all the senses into an experience and it will activate the brain receptors.
3. Use Phased Experiences. Creating lasting change is a process. So create an experience that evolves over time and supports the change. For example, Nike was making a transformational change that took place over a long period of time. They had a theme and a character that periodically shared updates and was part of the process. It had a voice mail account and left messages for people. The character became so beloved people were having birthday parties and celebrations in its honor.
Experiences that excite, create buzz and will engage people in the next versus the now.
4. Tangible = Memorable. If you can identify a tangible item that is part of the experience, it becomes a memento which triggers a memory. When we do Leadership Uncorked events, we give away Drop Stops which are reusable when participants are pouring wine.
Exciting experiences help people feel the change and accelerate their understanding and adoption.
(We don’t know if the picture above created excitement in you but it brought back exciting memories
of the Ultimate Culture Conference, 2015 Leadership Uncorked event!)