Archives: Ignites

Principle: Moments


The Moments of our lives—great and small—weave together to create the Stories and memories we hold in our hearts and minds. While it is sometimes easier to recall the big Moments—firsts and lasts, wins and losses, Joy and sorrow—it is the micro-Moments that make up everything in between. These everyday Moments are ripe with opportunity to craft with greater Intention—and mold into something more meaningful and memorable.

In health care, all Moments matter. Each interaction with a team member, provider, patient, or guest offers the chance to lovingly impact a day—or a life. One Moment is all it takes. And we can choose to design, curate, and bring to life Signature Moments—those thoughtful Moments and Experiences that uniquely define the spirit of the work and the organization.

How Moments Fit into LOVING

Any interaction, when treated with LOVE and compassion, has the potential to become a defining Moment. When we are present and bring our LOVE, energy, and empathy, we can make the most of each Moment. Every day is filled with opportunities to make LOVE visible. What will you do today to create a meaningful and memorable Moment?

Time Warp

In spite of our common limitation—just 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour day—how you think about time can affect your perception of it. The good news is that we can easily shift how we think about it. Sometimes, days feel long. Other times, time passes quickly, and we wonder where the time went. “Research finds that almost everyone feels that time speeds up as they get older,” writes productivity expert Laura Vanderkam.

“Asking one simple question can help nudge life out of this sameness: Why is today different from other days? If you can answer that question, then you are more likely to remember today. And ultimately, having more memories will make you feel like you have more time.” She suggests that even introducing one small change can make a huge difference as to whether or not you’ll remember that day.

Our work days can feel repetitive and the sameness might lead to reduced engagement in the Moment or the day. For the next week, at the midpoint of each day, challenge those around you to ask a question that can help slow time. What Moments will you remember? What Moments will you make memorable for someone else? How does this shift your perception of each day?

The Illness of Incivility

In this eye-opening TEDx talk, Christine Porath shares how incivility – being rude or disrespectful – isn’t just unkind; it’s causing a “sickness” in organizations. When people are exposed to uncivil Moments, Porath discovered a correlation with decreased job performance and productivity as well as increased unscheduled time off. Interestingly, even those who witnessed these uncivil of Moments felt the same ill effects. Creating kind Moments is not just good practice, it’s critical for fostering a healthy, supportive, and productive environment for team members and organizations to thrive.

How might we make creating LOVING Moments a strategy within our teams or our organization as a whole? In what ways can we tap into how our organizational civility (or lack thereof) is Noticed, perceived, and felt? Through team member engagement, patient surveys? How will we help create Moments of kindness?

A Moment for Thank You

Handwritten thank-you notes have magical powers. Gina Hamady, a mother of two, launched a gratitude project born from the sheer positivity she felt from writing handwritten thank you notes. Gina assigned a theme for each month and committed to writing a note a day for a year. She discovered that recognizing Moments and sharing their impact with others created mutual Joy. This very small and easy practice made others feel seen and acknowledged. Writing thank you notes also helps us become more attuned to the kindness all around us as well as the under-the-radar Moments we might have previously missed.

[Need more fuel for Moments of gratitude? Watch this TEDx talk: on 365 Days of Gratitude.]

Make time to write a handwritten thank-you note for someone who creates a memorable Moment over the course of the next five days. It could be a busy nurse who held the elevator, a recovering patient who inspired shared laughter, or the chef who always remembers preferences or favorites.

The Moments That Never Happen

This gripping Volvo ad not only honors the Moments that happen throughout life—LOVE, grief, and growth–but also the Moments that don’t happen. In an effort to bring attention to the safety of their vehicles, the advertisement artfully tells the Story of a young girl imagining the wonderful life ahead of her on her first day of school. The close of the three-minute piece emotionally reminds us that just one Moment could make or break the future—her future.

In health care, even more so than in the automotive industry, we have opportunities to gift new futures to team members, providers, patients, and guests—young and old. After watching the ad, consider what single Moment could change the future of those around you—safety procedures, communication protocols, advanced technology? How can these critical Moments in health care be reimagined?

Experiencing A Moment Through An Elderly Patient’s Perspective

At Weill Cornell Medicine, a professor invited elderly patients to speak to second-year medical students to prove there’s more to aging than meets the eye. When envisioning the Story arc of our lives, there are certain highlight Moments that may serve as mile markers: first kiss, first job, going to college, getting married, having children—and then the mystery of getting older. In medicine, it’s easy to forget that there’s more to the life of an elderly patient than just their ailments; the elderly aren’t defined by just the fact that they’re old. The Moments that the elderly share with their physicians (their love lives, passions, and hobbies) assist these physicians in Shifting their Perspective to allow them to see the whole human—not just the body or illness being treated.

When interacting with team members, providers, patients, and guests, what Moments are we missing in their lives? Is there a way we can better honor the humanity of all those who interact with our health care systems to honor their humanity?

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?

SPOTIFY Playlist: Moments

Honor the Moments you’ve made and create new Moments with those you LOVE. Press play for a collection of songs celebrating the Moments we can make together. 

Principle: Wholehearted

Every day we have the opportunity to demonstrate the theme of LOVING by how we show up in our homes, in our work, and in our world through the principle of Wholehearted. When we bring our Whole Heart we show up with empathy, widen our circles of compassion, and share a willingness to accept our own vulnerability as we courageously open ourselves up to others. By LEADING Wholeheartedly, we are an invitation for others to join us and signal that we are sincerely committed– that we are all in.

The heart is a symbol often used in health care representing life, yet it is also a globally accepted symbol for love. Combining the two, we see that health care isn’t just about LIVING – it is about LOVING – with our whole heart.

How Wholehearted Fits into LOVING

Wholeheartedness is the first principle of LOVING — signifying a commitment to bring your Whole Heart, knowing that you are worthy, and that you are enough. While LOVING is an integral facet of our personal lives, it can often be forgotten as a part of our workplaces. LOVING binds us together and guides and informs all the other them in –LEADING, LOOKING, and LIVING. Wholehearted provides the lens to help define how we do what we do. Throw your heart into it, and the rest will follow.

Be Kind

When a quirky, elderly lady approached the register at a local bookstore, the team member helping her had no idea she would be the most influential customer she’d ever had. In this random-act-of-kindness tale, the customer perfectly portrays what it looks like to Wholeheartedly move through your day with LOVE for the people you come into contact with. She surprised the customer behind her in line by purchasing all of his textbooks (and some chocolate) and then reflected that “it’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, but significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind.”

How can we actively choose kindness and bring our Whole Hearts to our interactions with team members, providers, patients, and guests? What might we improve in our systems to design for kindness?