Archives: Sparks18

V47: Moments in Action

From recognizing the power of a moment to crafting signature experiences in a moment, we’ve learned the ins and outs of this important principle to which we have access each and every day. For our final week of Moments, we’re exploring the ways that art, medical care, and music have all paid homage to the significance of each moment and making Moments matter.


Black Ink on White Shirt

While we’re passionate about creating positive Moments, sometimes just as memorable are the Moments of anticipation. Kinfolk Magazine, a publication aiming to connect a global community of professionals, devoted an entire issue to these teasing, adrenaline-pumping Moments. In this fascinating piece, Kinfolk depicts an artist series entitled “Anxious Anticipation” which brings worry-inducing Moments to life – an ink pen about to drip poised over the white shirt or a balloon floating over a bed of nails, to name a few. The photographs were paired with equally compelling text hitting home just how resonant the nervous energy of a moment can be:

“Whether we’re readying ourselves for the start of an event or just imagining ourselves partaking in it, the buzz of nervous anticipation is sometimes as satisfying as the reward at the end,” says Kushins. “Often just the thought of ‘what if?’ can be as potent as the act itself, and the thrill of the chase may occasionally be more powerful than the real deal.”

How might we recognize and address anxiety-inducing Moments for our team members, providers, patients, and guests? What can we do to be prepared for those Moments and then do everything we can to reduce anxiety and increase confidence?

A Doctor’s Touch

A forever favorite, Abraham Verghese’s 2011 TED Talk directly addresses the power a moment has in the physician-patient relationship. He poetically argues that in the midst of the greatest advancements in medicine – in times of robotic guided surgery and electronic medical systems – we have forgotten the critical ritual that is the physical examination: the actual examination of the human form using human hands. Verghese says, “we seem to have forgotten – as though, with the explosion of knowledge, the whole human genome mapped out at our feet, we are lulled into inattention, forgetting that the ritual is cathartic to the physician, necessary for the patient – forgetting that the ritual has meaning and a singular message to convey to the patient.” Watch the rest of Dr. Verghese’s TED talk to learn more about the importance of the human touch.

Dr. Verghese dives into just how important it is to honor the human form through physical examination – honor the human moment with human attention. While arguably a simple act, it’s a transformative one. How can we be sure to include the moment of human touch for all of our patients and guests?

No More Turning Away

Thirty years ago, Pink Floyd released a song completely devoted to the choices we have in each moment: to take action or to turn away. “On the Turning Away,” from their 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, commemorates the autonomy and freedom we have to take hold of everything each moment has to offer. Written in response to societal problems that weren’t being addressed or faced by politicians in office at the time, the song encourages listeners to own each moment with Intention and to act out of compassion, not selfishness:

“No more turning away

From the weak and the weary

No more turning away

From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share

It’s not enough just to stand and stare

Is it only a dream that there’ll be

No more turning away?”

What are some ways in which we can own each moment? What situations (or solutions) might we be turning our backs on because of an inconvenience, a fear, or a perceived barrier? How might we overcome them?

Moments for Gratitude

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wholeheartedly share our gratitude for the everyday Moments – the many gifts – that 2018 has given us. We are are grateful for YOU – our Lab Partners – and the many Experiences that we have shared in The Experience Lab. This piece from Time highlights seven mental and physical benefits of practicing gratitude. It is a wonderful reminder that when we take time to express gratitude in Moments, large and small, we’ll Experience true fulfillment.

How might we cultivate gratitude in our everyday lives?

V46: Moments of Celebration and Ceremony

In health care, we are gifted to be part of and witness transformational and memorable Moments in the lives of our patients: healing, thriving, birthing, passing. And, as leaders, we are also fortunate to be a guide for some of the most memorable life Moments for our team members and providers: a first job, a promotion, a graduation, a milestone accomplishment, or retirement.

By honoring accomplishments and triumphs, we are honoring the humanity that makes us who we are. Ceremonies and celebrations help to create meaning, story, and memory out of what may otherwise be experienced as routine.

This week, we’ll dig into the scientifically proven benefit of acknowledging Moments and explore two very different exemplars of moment-making. From basketball to bears, we’ll learn how Moments are an integral part of our life journey no matter our age; no matter our Experience.


Why Celebrate?

Did you know there’s a psychological reason to create ceremony and celebration? This fascinating piece from Inc. Magazine explains how the Experience of celebration releases endorphins that not only feel great, but also reinforce the positive behavior that led to success. The converse is also true – when we don’t take the time to honor and celebrate, we train our brains to think that our behavior and accomplishments are not worthy of excitement or acknowledgement. The moment that we spend in celebration is setting us up for the kind of positive psychology we will need when we face challenges. Celebration and ceremony also create new opportunities for forming bonds between individuals of very different backgrounds and life Experiences.

As leaders, we often finish one project successfully and simply move on to the next without taking the time to celebrate. How might we build a celebratory moment into the project plan? Who could be a part of that?

The Heart of the Bear

Many of you have experienced this heartwarming ceremony celebrating just that: the heart. This make-your-own teddy bear boutique gives children the power to bring their custom furry friends to life through their “heart ceremony.” It is sure to bring a smile to the face of all visitors no matter their age. After their bear is selected and stuffed, customers are given a small, silky red heart — the final addition to the bear. Customers are asked to rub it on their head to give their bear wisdom, on their knees so they know they are needed, on their ears to make them good listeners, and to give it a kiss to fill the bear with love. This signature moment defines the entire Experience for the new bear owner and creates a loving, lasting memory forever associated with the bear.

What rituals or ceremonies can we create to give team members, providers, patients, and guests a chance to physically and emotionally invest themselves in our Experience? What tangible mementos might we provide to ensure that their Moments with our organizations are always remembered?

One Shining Moment

Perhaps the most recognizable and remembered song in sports is basketball’s “One Shining Moment.” After the NCAA basketball champion is crowned, the emotion-filled song is played to celebrate the many accomplishments of the young athletes. As it plays, highlights from the course of the tournament are played in montage.

The lyrics say it all:

“The ball is tipped

and there you are

you’re running for your life

you’re a shooting star

And all the years

no one knows

just how hard you worked

but now it shows…

ONE SHINING Moment, IT’S ALL ON THE LINE

ONE SHINING Moment, THERE FROZEN IN TIME”

As with many Moments of commemoration and celebration, “One Shining Moment” is memorable due to the high intensity Experience that comes with a win or a loss combined with the sensory Experience of a song. In what ways can we combine sensory Experience with one of the many Moments of high emotion that we see in our organizations?

V45: Elements of Moments

What comprises a moment? The first definition that may come to mind is “a short period of time: an instant.” Yet, there’s more to it. A moment is also defined as, “a definite period or stage; a juncture.” This second meaning takes an instant and gives it more gravitas; it is this particular meaning of Moments that we are seeking to create. As Experience leaders, we have the opportunity to turn a moment into a lasting memory.

Many things affect the way in which we make Moments matter: the environment they’re designed within, the senses that are engaged throughout, and the feelings that last beyond. All three work in harmony to shape a moment. This week we will learn from three very different exemplars working in very different environments who have mastered the importance of intentionally creating Moments.