Archives: Ignites

High Tech, High-Touch Stories

One of Google’s newest under-the-radar tools, Bulletin, aims to put the power of local news in the hands of those who are living the real story: residents. News is, after all, merely a telling of stories and today anyone and everyone has the capacity to share and spread news. A digital, real-time news app, Bulletin requires no special platform or capability and makes it incredibly simple to report and share. The goal of the app is to be hyperlocal and shed light on what larger news outlets, or even channels that consider themselves to be local news, fail to feature. Currently being tested in Oakland, CA and Nashville, TN, Bulletin empowers everyone to be a journalist and report out everything from accidents to protests to celebrations.

How could a tool like Bulletin encourage and develop a Storytelling and Story sharing community across the health care industry and within health care systems? What might we learn from one another?

SPOTIFY Playlist: Storytelling

This month’s playlist celebrates some of the greatest Storytellers: musicians. Press play and hear how artists of different genres reflect on LIVING through a musical, story-centric journey.

Principle: Staging


Just as goods are made and services are delivered, Experiences must be Staged. All the pieces, parts, and processes are masterfully pulled together to create a cohesive and Orchestrated whole. As leaders, we play a role in Staging, and on the Stage, to ensure each person has the opportunity to be in the spotlight and bring our best work to life.

Staging is about much more than our personal performance–it is the words we choose and the physical Stage we use. Our offices, websites, patient rooms, mobile apps, and parking lots are all Stages from which we bring our work to life and convey the feelings and Experiences intended, and that requires Intention, clarity, and purpose.

In our work, awareness of the physical and metaphorical Stage is vital. Our “onstage” is whenever or wherever we are in front of or in earshot of a patient or guest. It’s an awareness more than a physical place. Our “offstage” is Intentional too – providing the time and space for team members to reflect, refuel, and refresh. Places such as break rooms and healing lounges can give team members a place to rest and practice self-care while they take a break from Being on the spot and in the spotlight. 

How Staging Fits into LIVING

Through beauty, nature, wellness, and vibrancy, we seek to breathe life into our health care Experiences and bring new ideas, directions, and discoveries to life. Staging provides the context through which we’ll be LIVING and allows us to be mindful of the roles we play. We are all LIVING in the theater of life. 


Target’s Secret Stage

Retail giant Target has a LIVING, breathing, secret test store hidden amongst the streets of Minneapolis. Used as a Stage to map out what future stores might look like, the 100,000-square-foot test store allows team members to see how new digital signage truly looks next to their shelving units or how innovative aisle designs redistribute guests and shopping cart flow. Team members can also photograph displays and signage giving managers at their stores specific instructions on how to Stage them.Target can now use the test store as a rehearsal space to try out different customer Experiences, avoiding potential challenges before they ever occur on store floors across the country. 

Target’s guest Experiences have only elevated since the test store first opened. VP of Visual Merchandising, Erika De Salvatore, said, “We give the stores a ton of context. Where in the past they just got an instruction like, ‘Do it like this,’ now we tell them more of the why’s. We’re giving them some of the context behind the decisions that were made, so they then understand to say, ‘Oh okay, all right, now I get it.’ Or, ‘Now I should understand why I have to support it more.’”

Do our health care organizations have rehearsal spaces for our team members to practice their roles and work through potential pain points before they hit the main Stage in our clinics, hospitals, and offices? What might we learn from being able to simulate our patient care Experiences?

A “Shoe-In” for Staging

To the leaders of Zappos, their well-defined core values are just the beginning of setting the Stage for their team members. Zappos consciously designs their corporate culture and then reinforces and supports it along the team member journey. From a nontraditional hiring process that “is more like a courtship” than an interview, and unique onboarding practices such as a scavenger hunt and time working in the call center, to celebrating milestones in ways that support the company’s values, Zappos prioritizes Staging these Moments to reinforce the Experiences team members should be creating for their customers. Each team member is explicitly taught and shown how to LIVE the Zappos values‚—such as “Embrace and Drive Change” and “Be Passionate and Determined”—and understands how to reinforce the culture of “a fun workplace that is a tiny bit weird.”

Do all of our team members have a clear Stage set showing them how to LIVE our organization’s values? How can we better help team members understand the role they play and how to best make it shine?

Staging Takes Flight

Hospitality exemplar Four Seasons wanted to ensure that their customers didn’t grow tired of the same “Stage” they’d been visiting since the company’s founding in 1960, so they took flight literally. Moving upwards from just their hotels, Four Seasons launched a new private jet Experience last year aimed to unveil new “sets” of the Four Seasons Stage across the globe. With each trip, passengers travel around the world on a carefully curated, unforgettable three-week Experience to some of the most unique Four Seasons properties. From Bali to the Seychelles, it’s certain the travelers will never be able to stay at another hotel thanks to this life-changing Experience. 

an we build our customer’s loyalty by introducing them to a new Stage? What unique, special Experiences can we be Staging to surprise and delight team members, providers, patients, and guests?

Please Wear White

How do you know you’ve arrived at the world’s most secret and chic dinner event? The Stage is perfectly set and everyone is dressed the same. Dîner en Blanc is a secret outdoor dining Experience hosted once a year at some of the most incredible locations around the world. Besides the excitement associated with receiving a coveted, exclusive invitation and the last minute reveal of the dinner location (which occurs literally minutes prior to the meal), Diner En Blanc requires that all diners arrive in costume: all in white. Hundreds of guests decked head to toe in bright white is a sight to see and makes it clear to dinner-goers who is an attendee and who is not. 

While the location is secret, one thing is clear: Dîner en Blanc knows how to set a Stage through costume. What do the “costumes” of our organizations say? Is it clear at first glance what role a team member plays based on their uniform?

The Mental Stage

Staging is about more than role and behavior. As shared by young writer Kunal Shandilya, a Stage can affect a state of mind. Because of what he calls “contextual zoning,” our brains function best when one mental process is confined to one physical space. For example, we should limit the function of our beds for sleeping and not practice other behaviors such as working, eating, or reading in bed. When we create sacred Stages for our work, the quality of the work only improves thanks to the context that is built into that space.

We all have contextual zones in which we thrive: where we focus best, collaborate best, present best, and rest best. How can we create contextual zones, or Stages, for our team members and providers to do their best work?

In the Spotlight: Cedars-Sinai Medical Network on Staging

As we move into the theme of LIVING and the principle of Staging, we immediately thought of our Lab Partners at Cedars-Sinai Medical Network (CSMN) as Staging exemplars. Cedars-Sinai Medical Network embodies the idea that each and every element of our Experience matters and the energy and actions we bring into the spotlight are what make each Moment memorable. 

We are excited to share with you, a conversation with Dr. John Jenrette, Executive Vice President of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, on the principle of Staging. 

What does the principle of Staging mean to you at your organization?

Staging is the fulcrum and keystone of the Experience work we are doing at Cedars-Sinai Medical Network. If you think of the ‘progression of economic value,’ from Pine and Gilmore’s The Experience Economy, we are moving as an industry from delivering services to Staging Experiences, where Staging is the actionable step we take to bring our Experience designs to life. Staging is about creating the right platform for the Experience to take place – where everything comes together.

When I think of Staging in our Experience work, it begins with our design process. We start with setting an Intention, then LOOKING at our Experience – we are Noticing every detail and Perspective Shifting to think through each audience we are designing for. When we put ourselves in that space we begin to see opportunities where we can design Personalized elements, ‘wow’ Experiences, and distinctive touchpoints where magic Moments can come to life for our team members, providers, patients, and guests.

How have you applied the principle of Staging to your work and your organization’s Experience journey?

At Cedars, we think about opportunities to Stage Experiences both at the organizational and the personal level. For our organization, one opportunity we have to Stage an Experience on a grand scale is our All-Hands Assembly. Our entire organization comes together for a half-day Experience designed to align to our vision and Intention, energize our teams, create a common language, and reconnect us all with ‘the why’ of our work. Every detail and element of that gathering is Intentionally designed and Staged to create memorable Moments for our team members and providers so they are prepared to create memories for our patients and guests. 

At an individual level, we have been working to transform how we Stage the new hire Experience at CSMN. One recent opportunity we had to Stage a new kind of welcome Experience was with the onboarding of one of our medical directors. We designed the Experience to anticipate his every need from day one – making sure his work place was ready when he arrived – his phone was working, email was up and running, his desktop was set up, and we had technical team members as part of the welcome to get everything synced. We also Personalized elements to Stage a truly memorable Experience for him: he had a welcome sign at his parking space, a signed note from the entire board of directors on his desk, and a bouquet of his favorite flowers on the window sill of his office. That was all part of Staging a welcome Experience so that he could not only walk in and hit the ground running but also feel like we had been expecting him.

Do you have any advice for lab partners who are trying to Stage a different kind of Experience? 

If there is a part of your Experience that could be Staged differently, it is important to gather a design team that can think outside the box. Start with the Intention of the Experience – how you want people to feel – and then ideate and design elements that bring that Experience to life. In the end, when you Stage an Experience, you should be making people feel more human. Therefore, consider how you can bring that humanity to life in this space or with this process? How do you make the feeling you want to impart, real?

A/C & Heating Company Setting the Stage

We LOVE this unexpected exemplar of Staging. We were recently surprised and delighted to receive a text update from a local San Diego HVAC company we engaged for service. It included the team member’s photo, expertise, details about him, and the ability to track how long it would take him to arrive – all for a simple utility visit. This set the Stage for a great Experience. How are we designing our pre-arrival Experiences?