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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 re-Orchestrate to make better? Think about how flower delivery is handled? Or our visitor process? Brainstorm areas where small changes might make a big difference.

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 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.


Spark Volume 11 – 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.


Disney’s Experience Spark

Never underestimate the power of a pin. A simple birthday pin is the spark to some of Disney’s most customized and memorable guest Experiences. Disney prides itself in the Orchestration of Intentional, personal details. When “cast members” at Disney see a birthday pin on a guest, they know to create a birthday Experience during interactions with characters, restaurants, and rides. It’s clear that technology allows for more of this type of customized orchestration to happen (think RFID hospital bands providing medical and personal information to each team member with whom a patient comes into contact). What can’t be overlooked, though, is the simplistic power of physical and human design. This little pin triggers the Disney cast members to stage a positive and memorable moment that often becomes the hallmark of the Experience.

What are easy ways for us to set a custom Experience in motion? Speaking of birthdays, how are we making our team members’ personal days special?

Why Behind the Scenes Matters

We can learn the value of honoring and valuing each individual part of the “machine” that is our organization from dishwasher Ali Sonko. One of the highest-paid team members at Copenhagen’s Michelin-starred restaurant Noma, Sonko was made a partial owner of the culinary “temple.” Why? The owner of Noma explained that Sonko, who has remained a dishwasher his entire 15-year career at the restaurant “holds as much respect as the best head chef. Because of his engaging personality, his work ethic, and his dedication to doing the job right.”

As we hinted at in our introduction to Orchestration, the sum of the parts is only as strong as each individual stakeholder; an organization is not just judged on “Experience” as a whole. It’s judged on how each nurse, each administrator, and each facilities specialist adds to a patient’s Experience.


Orchestrating Without Words – The Ignorant Maestro in Action

How much can we say without speaking? This charming TED Talk with Itay Talgam, conductor and author of this month’s book, The Ignorant Maestro, shows us how six great 20th-century conductors rise to the challenge with their own unique styles. Great conductors use small gestures to create perfect harmony while bringing out the best in their musicians. Each player feels special and valued, plays their unique part, and is absolutely essential to creating the great joy of music.

Consider how to use this video to spark conversation around the book and leadership styles. How can we enable others through our leadership? How can the Experience of working together become joyful?

Singing Together in Siena

This widely shared story from Siena, Italy reminds us all of the part we can play to bring joyful spirit and solidarity in difficult times. During the nightly lockdown due to COVID-19, one man began singing Canto della Verbena (And While Siena Sleeps), a local folk song that expresses pride in the beautiful Tuscan city. It was just the wholehearted invitation needed for neighbors to lean out their windows and join in singing together and remind each of them that we are in this together—we are not alone.

There are so many other beautiful examples happening worldwide from neighbors exercising together on their balconies in Spain and Italy to physicians and nurses dancing in Iran to keep their spirits high. Be on the lookout for the good out there.


Spark Volume 10 – Orchestration in Action
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”Action without orchestration is burn out; orchestration without action is
management; action with orchestration is leadership.” 
― Orrin Woodward

Coffee that’s Creating Buzz

San Francisco-based Philz Coffee isn’t just perfectly Orchestrating their own customer journey, they’re staging the internal customer journey as well. Purveyors of “slow coffee,” that is hand-brewed to order, Philz is disrupting our expectations of the coffee-ordering and drinking Experience.

They’re also disrupting the traditional journey of their internal customers – their employees – by Orchestrating a whole new kind of application process. Applicants are invited to make a video and answer the question “why do you want to work at Philz?” Philz’s aim is to encourage applicants to share their stories and add more personalization than could ever be captured on a resume. When candidates make their videos, they feel a more meaningful, personal Connection with their potential future employer. For a company with a mission of “bettering days,” helping applicants Connect to and enjoy the hiring process is the perfect Orchestrated Experience.

How might we extend a well-Orchestrated Experience from our customers (patients and guests) to our team members?

Transparent Leather

What do we do after facing a scandal? “Throw open your doors and share your guts” might not be oue first choice, and yet it was for Detroit-based Shinola, a luxury leather retailer. In order to keep their customers and earn back their trust, they added a small, glassed-in workshop to their Detroit flagship to promote transparency around how their products are made. Then Shinola went a step further to ensure they were transparent to all of their customers

Using the power of virtual reality and celebrity influence, Shinola Orchestrated a 360-degree tour of its main factory in Detroit featuring actor Luke Wilson to encourage all customers to look into the “guts” of the company. Aligning their brick-and-mortar goal to be transparent with customers with their international online customer base required Orchestration across locations and across platforms, but it paid off. Shinola remains one of the most sought-after leather goods companies in the nation.