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LOOKING at The Principle of Noticing

Welcome to a month of opening your eyes to the magic of Noticing. Everyday we Experience a non-stop flow of stimuli and it can often feel nearly impossible to truly see what is right in front of us. Many times, we might not even realize that we have become blinded to the details and wonders around us. When we Notice the people, our environment, and our own actions in their purest form, we discover new beauties, new opportunities for growth, and new solutions.

And now, as we LEAD the way through our work, Noticing details large and small is even more important. LOOKING for the good, seeing new possibilities, Noticing that which may have been missed or unseen by others may be the key to identifying new approaches for this rapidly changing situation.

We invite you to find ways to Notice what is and what could be.

This Month in “Big E Experience” Brain Training

We understand– Noticing can be hard when there’s so much on your plate. Not to fear. There’s an easy way to “win” the Noticing game: mindfulness. Mindfulness expert Cara Bradley equated Noticing to your brain’s bicep curl. Noticing encourages focusing on where you’re meant to be, both physically and mentally, in the present moment.

In fact, the entire purpose of meditation, one of the most common practices of mindfulness, is Noticing. Noticing breath. Noticing thoughts entering and exiting your brain. Noticing the ache in your hip or the itch on your cheek. When we Notice, we tune into the most innate, raw, natural state of ourselves and our surroundings. And Noticing is catching on in the corporate world, too. As Bradley notes, “injecting a corporate culture with a fresh dose of mindfulness not only improves employees’ focus, but also their ability to manage stress and collaborate. Who wouldn’t want that?”

Take three minutes to practice self Noticing. Sit in a comfortable position and set a timer on the phone. Close your eyes and breathe deeply–in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice what the air feels like as it’s entering your nostrils. Notice where the breath is headed within the body with each inhale. Upon exhalation, Notice what might be worth letting go. Is it stress? Concern? A to-do list? Notice as you let them go and thank them for being there.

What Are You Missing?

World-renowned violinist Joshua Bell experimented with the power of Noticing when he played for 43 minutes in the Washington DC metro during rush hour – completely unNoticed. Over the course of the performance, just seven people stopped to listen, and he collected only $32 in his violin case.

This is a fantastic example of the need to Notice the music all around us – to take the time to take time. With only so many moments in our day, it’s critical that we give ourselves permission to truly LOOK and Notice the diverse elements that surround us.

Think of a time you missed out on something because you were distracted, either personally or professionally? What got in the way? How might you stay present next time?

Empathetic Signage

“Children play here. Pick up after your dog.” If you Noticed this sign on your morning walk, would you feel more compelled than usual to clean up? This is the power of empathetic signage, which business thought leader, Daniel Pink, masterfully brings to life in this recording of his PechaKucha presentation on signage. When we design solutions with human emotions in mind, we not only encourage empathy, we also LEAD customers and team members to change their behaviors for the better. Creating this type of signage and reaction takes dual-sided Noticing: not only did you have to Notice the heart-wrenching dog sign, the individual who designed the sign had to Notice that you are, in fact, human.

Invisible Threads

Orchestration is the invisible thread that pulls us together and ensures every small part of our work, whether service, a team member, or a software system, unites as a cohesive whole. Let’s continue to explore ways to understand our own power as leaders, the keepers of the thread, of the “Big E Experience” work in our health care systems.

A Delightful Box

Monthly subscription boxes continue to be a household go-to, so making a business stand out is a challenge. Beauty product company BirchBox brilliantly realized that its sustainability as a business depended on placing the Orchestration of the customer Experience in the most savvy hands – those of its customers. Birchbox launched as a transformational company giving consumers the beauty counter-sampling Experience, curated and shipped to their homes each month. Because they are a mostly digital interface, BirchBox knew that in order to avoid fading into a saturated market, they needed to stay relevant, and what better way to do that than to put the power into the hands of the consumer? Using customer input, they are able to tailor the Experience to the customer’s beauty preferences and then offer products that the customer might not have found themselves. By Orchestrating and personalizing the Experience, BirchBox can delight its customers every time they open a box. Founder Katia Beauchamp shares how she built Birchbox and divulged that she believes “if you’re going to do something discretionary, it’s the retailer’s responsibility to make it really delightful.”

How can we Orchestrate a personalized Experience for our internal and external customers? As leaders, how can we invite others to provide input?

Loves me. Loves me not. Loves me.

The good ol’ “I love you” or “I’m sorry” flowers are being totally reimagined by Austin-based flower delivery company, Urban Stems. A phrase we normally save for the dining or hotel Experience, “perfectly Orchestrated” can now apply to the floral industry as well.

UrbanStems allows customers to pick a type of bouquet based on color, occasion, and price. Upon making a delivery, the delivery person takes a photo of the flowers with the destination in the background to confirm that they were hand delivered. It’s a personal touch that feels as close to delivering them yourself as technology allows.

What Experience could we Orchestrate anew to make better? Think about how flower delivery is handled? Or our visitor process? Brainstorm areas where small changes might make a big difference.

OKAY-Go! Pull Out the Dominoes

Last year, you received a box of dominoes in your Orchestration Action Kit. As we continue to build on our understanding of Orchestration, we invite you to bring them back out and try a new exercise to dig deeper into the connectivity of our roles. 

What’s Next? In your next idea session, have each team member grab a domino. One person begins a conversation. Whoever has a matching tile number goes next. Continue until everyone has contributed to the conversation. It’s a simple way to ensure everyone is heard.

Don’t Go to the Show; Be the Show

In an era where smartphones and other devices have dramatically changed how concert-goers Experience a live show, musicians also need a way to engage consumers like never before. Enter Coldplay, BTS and of course, Taylor Swift, the pop sensation who forever changed the live music Experience with her 1989 World Tour by introducing a bracelet that came to life with the music and made the viewer a part of the concert through its magical light show. Bracelets were handed out to every single concert-goer, so whether you were in the front row or in nosebleed seats, you were an important element of the Orchestration. Users could not control the bracelet, so each occurrence of its pulsing and changing colors was a surprise and delight, creating a personal, stadium-wide Experience, all Orchestrated by the music. Talk about shaking it up.

Orchestration Done Right

A well-Orchestrated Experience is the mode by which two feelings are delivered: surprise and delight. We create a lasting impression for those we serve when we stage a positive and memorable moment.