Category: Intention

Manifest Destiny

How long does it take for an Intention to really manifest? Staying true to your personal or organizational Intention – and using that Intention as a decision filter and guide–isn’t easy. In this, your fourth Spark, we explore new dimensions of this Experience principle. Putting Intention into action takes time and requires continuous focus, effort, and attention. Using Intention as your guide is like creating a new habit. Studies show that it takes from 18 days to more than 18 weeks to truly create change or forge a new practice or habit. With time, using Intention as your North Star and organizational guide becomes second nature and makes it easier to create meaningful and memorable moments for Experience team members, providers, patients, and guests.


Proof in the (Apple) Pudding

What it is: This amazing video from Apple gives us a little insight into how Apple works its magic. Over and over again, they have demonstrated what it means to design with Intention – to design products with clarity of purpose and ultimately create experiences, feelings, and memories that matter. Why is Apple so successful? Because they design their products and brand, and lead the industry, with Intention at every level. Overarching intent is easy. The hard part is driving that conscious decision-making through every little choice in the process. Good designers have a clear sense of the overall purpose of their creation; great designers can say, “This is why we made that decision” about a thousand details.

What it sparks: We were struck by the simplicity of this video which perfectly reflects the simplicity and intuitive nature of Apple products and their user Experience. The viewer can’t help but be mesmerized by the crisp and beautiful black and white animation and clear message. The video helps us understand Intention through a very simple question: What do we want people to feel? Apple asks that question and then designs every single element through that Intention. And when we have a clear Intention – when we know exactly what we are aiming for – to stay true, we may have to say “no” a whole lot more than we say “yes.”


Long Live Intention

What it is: Organizational leadership through Intention is not new in business.  In this McKinsey award-winning Harvard Business Review article, the authors discuss that by using Intention-setting as a strategy, we set stretch targets and are forced to innovate to get there. Their case is made by comparing many straight-revenue, cost-cutting-focused Western companies with their Japanese counterparts who “invariably began with ambitions that were out of all proportion to their resources and capabilities…”

What it sparks: What the article is explaining is that these “winning” companies started by setting an Intention to be the best version of themselves. We can do that too and start small: with ourselves. What does the best version of you look like as a leader? How can you set an Intention to be that version of yourself every moment?

Try this: Have your team visualize their best selves – set free from budget or time constraints. Ask them to answer why this version of themselves is better than where they are now. It could be more patient. More compassionate. More grateful. More resourceful. Now take the “whys” and help them shift those into an Intention for doing the work.


Intention-filled Leadership


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.