In the Spotlight – Sonia Rhodes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Experience Lab, on Signature Moments

People don’t remember days, they remember Moments. In this Moment, there is captured meaning, and we just need to let it out. We can be the defining Moment in someone’s day–in someone’s life. One Moment is all it takes.

In The Experience Lab we know that Experiences come to life in Moments. And it is in Moments where the potential exists for lifelong memories to be made…one Moment is all it takes. Sonia Rhodes, Founder of The Experience Lab and long time Experience evangelist, shares thoughts on the power of Moments and how to create Signature Moments for those we LEAD and serve.

What does the principle of Moments mean to you?

Sonia Rhodes (SR): I LOVE the depth and dimensionality of the principle of Moments—Being in the Moment. Ensuring a Moment matters. Making the most of a Moment. And understanding that in health care we are the Stage from which defining Moments take shape every day. Moments are the currency of Experience because no matter what we strategize, design, and architect for creating a better Experience, it all comes down to each one of us—and everyone on our team—choosing to make those plans and Experiences real in each and every Moment.

How would you describe a Signature Moment?

SR: Signature Moments are Intentionally designed Experiences Orchestrated to create a positive and lasting memory for team members, providers, patients, or guests. Signature Moments have the potential of encapsulating the entirety of an Experience in the essence of a designed Moment—making that Moment distinctive, meaningful, and often a “wow.”   

And “wow” doesn’t mean a big “WOW” or extravagant and over the top, rather a Signature Moment means thinking ahead, anticipating, and going three layers deep into how a Moment might unfold so someone says “wow, I can’t believe they even thought of this.” Or “of course they would pay attention to this important detail.” That type of “wow’ is what we aim for when we design our own Signature Moments in The Experience Lab.

Can you share some examples of Signature Moments?

SR: In The Experience Lab we have a number of Signature Moments—some we’ve Intentionally designed and others our Lab Partners have defined as a Signature Moment to them. We are known for starting and ending our gatherings with ceremony and ritual, providing new Lab Partners with a lab beaker filled with flowers to signal the beginning of our partnership and celebrating and remembering Lab Partners with Personalized and special greetings on their birthdays.

Designing Signature Moments takes a clear Intention and the ability to Shift Perspective. We ask ourselves what we could do to elevate this Moment? What should be honored? Celebrated? Acknowledged? Or, what could happen in this Moment that we aren’t planning for, and how might we be ready? A small example is that in The Experience Lab we know we can’t control the weather or rain—but we do know we can be prepared with umbrellas just in case—and not just any umbrella—when it rains we provide our Lab Partners an Inside Out umbrella. This umbrella stands up to wind and operates Inside Out—ensuring you don’t get soaked when you close it, of course.

For our Lab Partners, we encourage considering how Signature Moments might be designed for your various audiences—for team members, providers, patients, and guests. For team members, we’ve partnered in designing truly memorable Signature Moments for the first day of work and badging ceremonies. For physicians, we’ve helped expand the notion of Physician Preference cards to include preferences for music, beverages, and inspiring quotes. For patients, we’ve helped bring to life special touches like warm washcloths delivered by a housekeeping host every afternoon to homemade banana bread delivered by food service team members on the day of departure; and a truly memorable Signature Moment for endoscopy patients where this often feared procedure now feels more like a spa with just a few simple elements.

What advice do you have for our Lab Partners?

SR: Begin with a question. What could make the difficult Moment– the invisible or overlooked Moment–be more thoughtfully designed? What could make a Moment feel better or be filled with surprise and delight? Identify the Moments and enlist others to help consider how that Moment might be designed anew.

Start small.  Sometimes the really big ideas can be a speed bump—too many steps, too many approvals, too much money. The reality is the Moments that often matter the most are the small thoughtful touches that simply required attention and LOVE. Start where you have the ability to play and experiment to make change happen. Consider what routine Moments might benefit from a little magic—like parking validation —could the stamp be a positive quote? Or the delivery of fresh linens and towels in a patient room—could they be folded in the shape of an animal? How might the Moments you make differentiate your organization?