Archives: Ignites

Intention: More Than Trendy

Experiential marketing is booming, and this Adweek piece defines three priorities that will differentiate the good from the great in this category. We were not at all surprised to see that the theme of LEADING with Intention was a thread throughout all three priorities (recognizing that experiential is not a channel, incorporating brand planning, and measuring impact). Simply put, leaders need to understand and embrace the role of Experience in a purposeful way. While our organizations are not marketing firms, we are all activating Experience to set a new standard for how we align brand message with brand Experience across the industry. To be great, the author suggests that we express our purpose and Intention through the way we interact with all who come into contact with our organization – to live our Intentions, not just speak them.

How do we walk the walk of our Intentions? What does our Intention look, sound, or feel like for our individual roles, on our teams, and across the many Experience points in our organizations?

If You Build It, They Will Come

The Intention for the work we do won’t just come to us in a dream; we have to shape it and build it. Business mind John Coleman recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review that if we continue asking, “How do I find my purpose,” we’ll never find it. This is because “most of us have to focus as much on making our work meaningful as in taking meaning from it.” We have the power to create our collective Intention for the Experience we’re trying to create each and every day. How do we do this? Coleman argues in one of his more recent HBR musings that we must view our work as a true craft: a demonstration of service and mastery.

Let’s try shifting our mindset from finding our purpose to building it. How might this new point of view shape the Intention of the work we do? How might we benefit from discovering purpose in what we do every day rather than seeking the elusive and quite rare sudden understanding of greater purpose?

You Don’t Have to be Captain America

To be the heroes in the work we do every day, try these five ways to lead with Intention from Entrepreneur magazine:

  1. Provide a vision. This first step is the most critical – defining, clarifying, and demonstrating the Intention.
  2. Engage the team. This is not a one-time job. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey of reminding our teams what lived Intention looks like.
  3. Dig in. We can’t just preach the Intention, we have to live it, breathe it, and be it — no matter if we’re walking the halls of a hospital, in a cubicle, or in a waiting room.
  4. Celebrate the milestones. LEADING with Intention every single day isn’t easy; we have to choose it in every moment. Discover how the team prefers to celebrate – what is meaningful for them? When they demonstrate those milestone Moments of exemplifying Intention, practice positive reinforcement!
  5. Fail forward. There are going to be Moments where we as leaders forget what LIVING our Intention looks like. Own up to it – discuss what went wrong and how we, as a team, will move forward.

The Science of Setting Goals

Our Intentions can be thought of as the most central and illuminated goal across our organization. Read this thoughtful TED blog to learn the science behind what makes a goal accomplishable and what leads to forgetting or straying from a goal. Here’s a sneak peek:

“How you describe your goal makes a big difference. Focusing on what you want to bring into your life — not what you want to avoid — will make you more likely to actually pursue it.” Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal says, “That’s basically just brain chemistry. Any sort of avoidance is going to trigger inhibition systems, whereas positive goals are going to trigger approach and reward motivation.”

VIDEO: Oprah’s Everyday Intention

Learn why entertainment and business great Oprah Winfrey grounds every day and every Experience with Intention. Play video.

In the Spotlight: Holstee

Let’s begin 2019 as we begin everything in the realm of Experience – with Intention. In The Experience Lab, we purposefully choose the people, artists, creators, and organizations we partner with to bring our Experience to life – ensuring there is alignment with our aim to bring beauty, kindness, Joy, and love to the world through our work. There is no better organization to spotlight for the powerful principle of Intention than our partners at Holstee, Dave and Mike Radparvar. Holstee was one of our very first partners and we are always proud and delighted to showcase their exquisite letterpress art cards in our Action Kits.

Eight years ago, these two brothers boldly wrote their Intention – known around the world as the Holstee Manifesto – which became the launching pad of their new business and their definition of success to live fully and mindfully. We asked them to share their perspective on the principle of Intention and what it means to them.

How do you define the principle of Intention?

Dave Radparvar (DR): We have found that while a goal will define what we want to do, identifying our Intention reminds us who we want to be and why we’re on the journey in the first place.

In this way, setting an Intention can help us avoid pursuing misaligned goals, and keeps us on track for the bigger picture. When we live with Intention, we live without regret.

How do you apply and use the principle in your work?

DR: We learned early on that it is much easier (and more fun!) to make products we are genuinely excited to share. This passion is the result of a series of events that need to happen. To be excited to share what we are doing, we need to be proud of what we are creating. And to be proud of what we are creating, requires us to be intentional about each decision in the creation process.

For us, this translates to how we source products, the content we put into the world, the people we work with and how we work with them.

Being intentional takes longer and costs more, yet it often means we can invest less resources into marketing. The people who value attention to detail and quality naturally gravitate to and share our work. At the end of the day, it is this process that defines our work and our brand.       

What advice do you have for our lab partners?

DR: Few industries have the opportunity to connect with the fragility of human life in the way that health care can. One way to practice Intentionality in health care is to simply step back and ask:  “Why are we doing this? What is the ultimate purpose behind our actions?”

Questions like these bring us back to our core purpose — bringing energy and love into the work. These questions remind us to go beyond the immediate outer pain we are solving for. They bring us beneath the surface to a human desire we all share — the desire to feel nurtured and cared for.

Spotify Playlist

Enjoy this Spotify playlist to help you set your Experience aim and get you into the LEADING- Intention mindset.