Archives: Ignites

SPOTIFY Playlist: Staging

This month’s playlist will set the Stage. Allow these tunes to enhance the theme of LIVING.

Principle: Personalizing


Imagine a world made just for you. Products, services, environments, and Experiences—all designed with your unique tastes, needs, and preferences Intentionally built in. There is no better way to tell someone they’re important than by customizing their Experience.

Personalizing is a practice that evolves as we tend and attend to what we Notice. When we Personalize an Experience, we more deeply Connect with our team members, providers, patients, and guests and demonstrate that they have been seen, heard, and remembered. The power of Personalization requires a trained eye as we not only remember the magic of each individual but also anticipate their needs and desires the next time we have the pleasure of serving them.

How Personalizing Fits into LOOKING

Within the theme of LOOKING, Personalizing encourages us to design with the end user in mind and that takes not only LOOKING ahead but also LOOKING deeper at those we serve. What do we Notice? How can we store that information and keep it readily retrievable? And most importantly, how do we use that information to create both a Personalized Experience as well as a Personal memory?

Spaghetti Sauce

In his TED Talk, writer Malcolm Gladwell speaks to the importance of Personalization in business by telling the Story of an American great: Ragú spaghetti sauce. In short, Gladwell posits that companies have historically been asking the wrong question. Instead of asking “How do we make consumers like our product?” the question should be “How do we make a product that people like?” Thanks to taste preferences, the most effective way to attract customers who are fundamentally committed to a brand is to play to their unique palates.

What are the "spaghetti sauces" of the health care Experience industry? In other words, what solutions have we been trying to push on our team members, providers, patients, or guests? How might we instead turn to them and ask what solution or Experience may be most pleasing and fulfilling for them?

Personalization: Mini but Mighty

When the makers of the Mini Cooper set out to understand Millennials, survey results found that Personalization was a key factor in choosing one model over others. More than safety or cost, millennials want their car to reflect their Personality and their lifestyle. Thanks to an ever-increasing amount of customizable features when ordering a Mini, millennials can do just that. Moving beyond paint color and engine type, Mini USA met their customers’ demands by offering more than 10 million Personalized combinations. Walk through a Mini lot, and you’ll have a hard time finding two alike.

How is health care responding both internally and externally to the influx of millennial customers? What are ways that our organizations can understand our future team members and patients by anticipating their needs before there is a disconnect? How might we modularize customizable aspects of our Experience to make it easy to provide choice?

…But Not Too Personal

IKEA has mastered a new angle to Personalization with product designs that appeal to the unique tastes of their customers and also allow customers to build the products themselves—therefore completing the Personalization Experience. While we may know the frustration that sometimes comes with opening an IKEA box that contains the unassembled pieces of the product we purchased, we also understand the pride we feel when our new desk or bookshelf is assembled with our own two hands! When customers invest time and energy, not just money, into the creation of a product, perceptions change, and customers often feel more invested in the finished product.

IKEA teaches us that when we allow customers to participate in the build of a product, they form an emotional Connection. How can we hand over the power to Personalize to our team members, providers, patients, and guests that might lead to a greater emotional investment in our Experience?

There’s an App for That

While Home Depot, Sephora, GOAT, and the Sacramento Kings exist in very different industries, they have all found that apps have changed the game in Personalizing their customer Experience. Home Depot uses location-finding services to target local design trends that users might find interesting. When a customer finds a product they want, their app can use navigation to guide them directly to the aisle and shelf where the product is displayed. Sephora tracks users’ past purchases to serve as a shopping list when in their stores. Virtual try-on services give the customer a sense of what a product would look like on them—along with usage instructions. Kings fans can use their app to have food delivered to their seats while at a game. GOAT (a virtual sneaker marketplace) uses push notifications to alert users when sneakers in their preferred style and price range go on sale. The common trend among all of these apps? The Personalized services are not an added feature or product but instead a way to enhance the Experience of shopping for their existing products.

Our places of work and caregiving can be confusing to navigate. How can we use the power of technology to unlock a new sense of ease and empowerment for our team members, providers, patients, and guests?

How Burberry Uses AI to Drive Success

Burberry has always been a leader and innovator in the use of technology. The retailer has seen the success of using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to boost sales and customer satisfaction by Connecting and Personalizing the Experience for its customers. By asking customers to voluntarily share data, Burberry is able to offer Personalized recommendations both online and when a customer walks into a store. The company has also employed Snapcode from Snapchat to provide immediate product information, created an Apple Music channel, and employed Facebook “chatbots” during fashion week to provide additional information. Burberry is exploring ways to use AI technology in its production and product development, leveraging emerging technology to maintain its competitive edge.

In what ways might we use our data to create a more Personalized Experience for our patients and guests? Are there operational improvements that AI might enable to help us deliver additional business value?

In the Spotlight: Jeff Kallay on Personalizing

Cofounder and CEO at Render Experiences

Render Experiences helps colleges and universities craft better campus visits and attract students who are well aligned with the institution’s enrollment goals. According to Jeff Kallay, CEO and Co-founder, he has the greatest job in the world because he’s paid to tour colleges—places focused on the future, where young people thrive, transform, and become good citizens.

Why the campus visit?

Jeff Kallay (JK): You know the saying, “I just visited, and it felt right.” When you say “yes” to a university, you’re making an intimate buying decision—you’re going to eat, sleep, learn, get sick, and even get naked there. You need to choose carefully. Selecting a college is not about buying a building; it’s about buying a slice of a community. So engaging with many members of the community during a campus visit is crucial.

What does the principle of Personalizing mean to you and your work?

JK: For a long time, Personalization in our work often meant “what is your major?” and clustering students into preset groups that met existing criteria. I don’t agree with that. I believe Personalizing the campus visit should be persona matched—such as if you are an entrepreneur, an activator, a do-gooder, or a social butterfly. This approach would mean that prospective students would find the five campus elements you must see or the three people you should meet based on what you told us your preferences were. But no one in higher ed is willing to invest in this kind of Personalization—yet.

That said, there are universities making great strides. For example, Hendrix College, a small, quirky liberal arts college in the South, invites prospective students to customize their visit through their website, selecting which class to attend and who to engage with. Students are welcomed to campus with a Personal parking space including a sign with their name and “class of 20XX” on it. If they take their sign, they are rewarded with a secret message on the back and admissions knows they are interested. Students also receive a “loaner backpack” filled with pencils, pens, water, and a notebook. They sign a contract that says they’ll take notes, engage, and stay for the whole class. That notebook becomes a visual identifier that you’re one of us. Every step and interaction is about engaging with the community. Will the prospective student want to be a part of that community? How did they feel there?  

What advice do you have for our health care leaders eager to make health care better?

JK: In health care, you are labeled by your health issue. You’re the cancer patient, HIV patient, pregnant mother. It’s the same way we label majors, and its depersonalizing and dehumanizing. A student is asked five times on the tour what their hometown is and what their major will be. Why haven’t we solved for this? Why don’t we already know the answer? Everyone is afraid to ask questions of their guests.

When I am in the waiting room, why do you yell my name? You probably have my photo on record or know the color of my shirt based on when I checked in. Why not walk up to me, shake my hand, and greet me by name. That would make me feel special, seen, and acknowledged.

It really all comes down to how you make the person feel. What the Intention for Personalizing is and how you go about Staging the Experience to achieve it. Patients and families need to know the why you are asking for the data and what part it will play in the process. Be transparent and open. Acknowledge patients as human—someone in need of care. See each person’s individual humanity and Personality. Find the Connections you can make today to make it Personal.

SPOTIFY Playlist: Personalizing

Enjoy a new month of songs about Personalizing—designed just for you!

Perspective Shifting

While there is so much we can learn just by LOOKING, it is incredible how much more we gain when we Shift our Perspective. Applying a fresh lens to the way we view our life’s work, asking new questions, and seeking different vantages unleash exciting pathways to explore and create new Connections.

Perspective Shifting is a practice in empathy. We can better serve our team members, providers, patients, and guests when we are willing to truly see what they see and feel what they feel. Stepping out of our comfort zones to LOOK in new ways isn’t always easy but it has the potential to unlock a whole new journey in health care.

How Perspective Shifting Fits into LOOKING

Within the theme of LOOKING, Perspective Shifting provides us with a fresh vantage and awakens new possibilities. Beyond simply LOOKING up, down, and around, we slip on someone else’s shoes and practice empathy – LOOKING and seeing through the eyes of those we lead and those we serve. LOOKING beyond our own view of the world ensures that we meet the needs of everyone we touch.