Grab-and-Go Shopping Arrives

In 2018, Amazon opened its doors to a whole new way to shop showing us what LEADING for Experience is all about. Amazon Go, the first ever no-checkout convenience store uses the Amazon Go app to check in shoppers as they enter the store. It is an example of Connection at its best–connecting to the convenience of what consumers want. You simply walk around, take what you want, and walk out. No one chases after you because AI algorithms track you and everything you pick up and keep. If you put something back, cameras track that too. When you leave, the app simply charges your Amazon account for whatever is in your bag. Amazon Go is truly flipping the industry on end and changing the way they Connect with customers with this cutting-edge, highly orchestrated Experience. We can’t wait to see what’s next.


SPARK Volume 04 – Intention-filled Leadership


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 our 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 team members, providers, patients, and guests.


Proof in the (Apple) Pudding

This amazing video 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.”

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 – we may have to say “no” a whole lot more than we say “yes,” to stay true to it.

What ways are we manifesting our organizational Intention? How might we use our Intention to say “no” to that which does not align? How could Intention help guide decisions about our people, processes, and our physical places?

Long Live Intention

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 the article explains 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 their work.

SPARK V03 – 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.


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?

Consider a specific element of the team member, provider, patient or guest Experience and use “surprise and delight” as your design tool and decision filter. What details – large or small – could be built in to provide unexpected joy?

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.


Beginning with Intention

We are thrilled to welcome you to The Experience Lab and your Inside Out journey! This year will be filled with immersive learning and supported by a continuous heart beat of themes, principles and our Essential elements. In the inaugural Essentials Spark, this freshly curated collection is meant to inspire you to think, encourage you to act, and provoke positive change. Sparks will help you create a comprehensive library of Experience insights. Each Spark is designed to grow your personal library of Experience insights while adding depth to your Experience learning. Try incorporating just one new element in your daily leadership or share with your team and see what happens.

Sparks will be sent to your inbox every Tuesday from Essentials@TheExpLab.com.


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.