• Mark Topley

Beat the blues – reject reasonableness and create moments

The Christmas period (which now seems like a very long time ago!) assaults us each year with a torrent of commercial pressure, expectation and frenetic activity – buying, cooking, wrapping, more buying, eating, drinking… For me, the best part of Christmas is never the things we got, or even gave, it’s the inexpensive moments of connection that create memories.

Chip Heath, author of ‘The Power of Moments’ and Post-Grad Professor of Business at Stamford University has some fabulous stories about the moments that stick with us and why, and how we can create more moments in our organisations, building a deeper connection with our teams and customers.

Make the most of moments

We all know that some experiences create more of an impact than others. Most interactions are bland, normal, run of the mill encounters. Every now and then, an experience stands out. We tell our friends and family about it, we internalise it and treasure it. As business leaders, if we can spot what these moments are, we can make them more impactful and use them to improve our culture, delight our customers, and nurture an all-important sense of shared purpose with our team.

There are countless times we can create memorable moments. In the book, Chip highlights that opportunities to naturally occur during peaks, pits, beginnings, endings, and transitions. The best businesses look to make the most of the peaks and transitions and minimise the impact of the pits.

I wrote recently about one story of how the first day moment was leveraged by John Deere when they expanded in China

“It’s your first day, you enter the building to be met by the person in the team that you’ve been texting. They’re holding a hot cup of the drink you like best (which they’ve subtly discovered in the text conversation you’ve had). On the screens in reception or in a suitably placed frame, there’s a welcome message with your name on. They take you to your locker where there’s a hand-written welcome message from the owner or Principal, who you will get to sit down with at lunchtime so they can tell you about the story of the business, what’s important to them and how your work is going to play a crucial part in delivering that story. Before the end of the day, everyone on the team has taken two minutes at a time that suited them to pop in and say hello.”

That’s a first-day experience that becomes a memorable moment.

Too often we miss the opportunity to create moments like this.

How do we attune ourselves to make the most of them? By doing what Heath calls ‘Escaping the soul-sucking force of reasonableness’.

‘Escaping the soul-sucking force of reasonableness’.

We need to be prepared to be unreasonable in our expectation and desires for each experience that our team, patients, families friends or customers have. The most memorable moments are emotional ones, and if we can authentically create those emotional experiences, we’ll build our businesses and the people we care about.

Creating moments isn’t expensive, but it will cost you.

It takes care, engagement, understanding, empathy and the willingness to be unreasonable.

If you or your team were to focus on one moment to leverage this week, what would it be?

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