Allow Intention to Be Your Guide

Communicating, and LEADING with Intention is one of the most powerful ways to catalyze positive change on our teams and across our organizations.


Finding Happiness through Intentional Communication

“Unhappiness compounds…the solution is pretty simple: address the unhappiness.” This cut-to-the-chase advice comes from marketing guru, internet pioneer, entrepreneur, and best-selling author, Seth Godin. His blog inspires us to dig deep and think about true communication – air out the unhappiness.

“Unaddressed, it compounds into frustration. And frustration is the soul killer,” as Seth puts it, “the destroyer of worker and customer relationships, loyalty and progress.” The interesting thing is that just the act of acknowledging unhappiness is sometimes all it takes to improve it. But, you have to communicate! And, “true communication, actual Intention (and action) in digging deeper, is difficult work.” Don’t be like the waitress who by rote asks, “Is everything okay with your dinner?” but really has no Intention of finding out. Dig deeper. Find out if everything really is okay. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Read more of Seth’s wisdom on his blog.


Super High-Tech Bands Delight Carnival Cruise Guests

What it is: Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Ocean Medallions” are reimagining the guest Experience on Carnival Cruises. And people love it.

Two former Disney executives brought their expertise of high-tech personalization to Carnival with the use of wearables and an app to match. Aimed to serve as a real-time concierge, the “Ocean Medallions” allow passengers to travel effortlessly throughout the ship and serve as their room key, payment method, food and beverage ordering service, and perhaps most impressively, as a notification mechanism for team members to know who is watching live performances. Imagine watching a live show and the actors call out to your children by name! Their Intention? Not surprisingly, “to delight and surprise [their] guests.”

What it sparks: How might we use Carnival’s Intention to “surprise and delight” as a spark to innovate in our own industry or organizations?


How the Power of Intention Can Help You Learn Better

This insightful PBS piece reveals just how powerful listening and observing with Intention can be. When we root our listening and observing with a clear purpose, we create rich, remembered, meaningful experiences. We can’t just hear what our colleagues are saying, we must make meaning of it. We can’t just “see” our surroundings, we must approach what we’re seeing with purpose.


Walking the Walk: Living Out Intention

The importance Intention holds has existed for much of history. Socrates shared that “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” And that is what we are here to do. To build anew. To heal health care. From the Inside Out.

Remember how we choose to define Intention in our work: the values and priorities that allow a person, a team, a process, or a system to heal.

Socrates didn’t have just one quotable line when it came to Intention; it’s clear that his work and life were devoted to exploring the power of Intention in action. A powerful example of this shows up in his Socratic Paradoxes:

  • No one desires evil.
  • No one errs or does wrong willingly or knowingly.
  • Virtue – all virtue – is knowledge.
  • Virtue is sufficient for happiness.

What we see here are four statements that describe the good of humanity because of their usage of Intention. It is through setting an Intention and LIVING that Intention that we find our way to happiness, goodness, and success.


The Power of Why We Work

If your Experience is focusing too much on metrics and not enough on change, it is most likely missing the mark. In this Harvard Business Review article, Ryan Smith and Luke Williams, co-founder and head of Customer Experience at Qualtrics, unbundle aim and Intention from measures and metrics. They suggest that:

  • Experience must be based on change that is rooted in the why of work.
  • Experiences must add value, have purpose, and be about meaningful change – not just about measurement.

All organizations rely on data to mark progress toward goals and ensure that Intention is activated in service of a better outcome. When it comes to “Big E Experience” in health care – creating meaningful and memorable experiences for team members, providers, patients, and guests – our Intention sets us on the positive path for change and our data helps us verify that we haven’t strayed from the path.


Extra (Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra) Ordinary

Writer, Director, and friend of The Experience Lab, Brad Montague, set a very clear Intention when he began his work with his younger brother-in-law Robby: to bring childlike wonder to the lives of all humans, no matter their age. The result of their Intention was a wildly popular YouTube video series called Kid President. Kid President shares uplifting and inspiring messages to remind all viewers that we can use the power of positive Intentions to leave the world better than we find it.

When we think of bettering the world, we often think of heroes. Watch this Kid President video as a reminder that heroes are made when ordinary people – like all of us – decide to be extraordinary (or extra, extra, extra ordinary).

Health care is a life-changing industry filled with heroes who literally save lives every day. When we don’t live each day with the Intention to see those we lead and those we serve as heroes, we risk critical players on our teams falling into the shadows.


The Power of Intention

January is a time of fresh starts and the perfect time to explore the principle of Intention. Setting an Intention is at the heart of LEADING a cohesive, connected and orchestrated Experience for all.

When you search for “Intention” in the dictionary, you may be surprised by what you find.

At The Experience Lab, we define Intention as the center of what we call character–the values, norms, and priorities that drive actions and choices. To set Intention is to create a clear direction that serves as a decision filter for how you and your organization will move forward amidst a sea of choices.

While the most used Merriam-Webster definition is “a thing intended; an aim or a plan,” an alternate meaning is “the healing process of a wound.” Intention has been part of medicine all along! It refers to the scientific way that our bodies heal; the initial union of the edges of the wound. When we combine the two meanings of Intention, we get to the very fitting and powerful definition we’d like you to use when enjoying this week’s Spark:

The values and priorities that allow a person, a team, a process, or a system to heal.

Let’s visualize the healing of the wound – the coming together of its edges. In our organizations, our edges are often our people and our processes. When we allow ourselves to set an Intention that guides our work each day, we are giving our people and our processes permission to come together. When our people understand the why behind decisions or changes being made, they can accept, adapt, and heal.

So, let’s define our Intentions. Set our north stars. Take aim. Then make it happen. Intention is how we can bring our organizations together.

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Manifesto x 2

Sitting on the steps of Union Square in New York City, brothers Dave and Mike Radparvar decided to write down how they define success. The goal was to create something they could reflect on. The result was The Holstee Manifesto, a viral smash success and the launchpad for their brand, Holstee.

A manifesto is a megaphone for Intention. The Holstee Manifesto speaks an unapologetic truth about what matters most and is a perfect example of how a series of Intentions built a successful business model. There wasn’t a product to sell or a service to provide until the Manifesto was defined, published, and shared with the world. With Holstee, their manifesto has been as compelling as their product — speaking to hearts and minds the world over. The Holstee Manifesto has now been translated into 13 languages (and counting).

Getting inspired by manifestos? Want to understand the journey more? Explore The Unbusy Manifesto, another great example of an Intention-filled manifesto from Jonathan Fields.


Sing and Dance While the Music Plays

How do we look at our life? Is it a journey? Where are we trying to go? If we focus only on end goals, what happens to our daily lives, what do we miss? This powerful video shares British philosopher and theologist Alan Watt’s thoughts on the journey of intentional living as it relates to music and dance. Perhaps it’s not where we are going, after all, it’s how we get there: the pure enjoyment of playing the music or performing the dance. We love this video and invite you to watch it; because the easiest way to reflect on the Intention you have for your work is to first reflect on your Intention for living. Start now.