Design Thinking

Consumer Experience, Design Thinking, Empathy, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, storytelling

You Are Invited To My Bell Ringing Ceremony! #NoMoreChemo Party!


The Story

Last week, Michael and I returned to Las Vegas to work with one of our partners, Cure 4 The Kids. Over the past few months, we’ve enjoyed getting to know their team and organization as we’ve begun helping them shape their strategy for the next few years. On the first morning of our visit, our meeting shifted from strategic conversation to a moment that touched us deeply and framed our purpose for the trip, and potentially how we work going forward.

Imagine this with me, you are standing in the middle of a waiting room, and there is a bell hanging on the wall behind a locked plexiglass door. Underneath the bell reads this:

Ring this bell

Three times well,

It’s toll to clearly say

My treatment’s done,

This course is run,

And I am on my way.

IMG_0923.jpgThat poem is special for the children at Cure 4 The Kids. They get to ring that bell at their NO MORE CHEMO PARTY! Yes, that is right. This is the day when treatment is completed and they begin their next stage of life in their new normalSo there we were, standing in the waiting room, with associates, and families waiting for treatment. And now with the little girl, who is now five and her family as she gets to ring the bell!

After that ceremony, we attended an party with the family. WOW! Did we learn a lot! This young lady’s name is Cierra. She is five and has a twin sister Sophia. Cierra was diagnosed at 18 months-old with leukemia. We learned that Cierra’s favorite color was pink, and she loved Barbies. So at the party, there were pink Krispy Kreme donuts, and Barbies. I remember when she looked at me, and told her Mommy, “he dyed his hair pink just for me.” I looked at her and simply said, YES I DID! Her story is powerful and inspiring, and we will share more details later on her journey. What I want to share is some empathy highlights and learnings from that day when Michael got to sit down with the family.

  • Become The Expert – Many times for these families, the mother or father have to become the expert and learn as much as they can about the cancer or disease. And at the same time, they have to still be able to function in their day to day lives.3QzVWFM7TeSY6HM1gZNsJg
  • Talk To Me Like I’m A Seven Year Old – These families have to learn not to nod and pretend like they understood what is happening. They have to ask questions. Lots of questions. Google words that they don’t understand. And, again, remain strong for their child.
  • “What Would You Do If This Was Your Child?” – It is ok during this time to ask your clinical team, “What would you do if this was your child?” Every parent, every person wants whats best for their child or family member.

There are so  have many other things we could share, but we just wanted to scratch the surface today, but most important, we wanted to celebrate Cierra and her new norm. LIFE WITHOUT CANCER! Remember this, CANCER SUCKS!

What I Learned And What You Can Learn

This is pretty simple for me this week. I learned that we must be willing to walk a day in the shoes of the human (not a patient) and their families. We work in a very complicated industry and want to make significant change. It will not be easy, but we will do it, one human at a time.

What I Will Do And What You Can Do

We have committed as a team to stop and listen! Listen to what everyone on the journey is going through. A diagnosis in a family can be world changing, and we need to have empathy for not just the human, but for the family.

I challenge you this week rather you are a healthcare provider or work in the industry, to remember to put the human first, and the disease or diagnosis second. I applaud Cure 4 The Kids and the journey they have created for their families.

Go and kick CANCER’S ASS today! I look forward to my next #nomorechemo party!

Consumer Experience, Design Thinking, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Patient Experience

There’s Room In The Sandbox For Everyone. Moving From Competitor To Co-Creator


THE STORY

Competitor: One selling or buying goods or services in the same market as another

Last week, I had the privilege of co-leading a workshop with the amazing Amy Bucher from Mad*Pow. (You mean the people that do the same work you do, Shawn? Yes, those people!) It was an AWESOME experience and I WorldCongress#2hope to do it again soon.

In the workshop, Amy and I taught a group of leaders and innovators in the Pharma industry how to use design thinking in their organizations and teams. Through this process, I had one of the greatest professional ah-hamoments that I’ve had in a long time: There’s room in the sandbox for everyone!

Let me be clear. I have never looked at Mad*Pow as a competitor. I have always loved their work and admired the impact they’ve made in our field. But, according to the definition above, we are technically competitors.

WHAT I LEARNED AND WHAT YOU CAN LEARN

The mentality of being competitors makes me mad. We work in a complex world and an even more complex industry (healthcare). We’re all looking to change the healthcare industry so that the patients and the caregivers—or how about we just say “the humans”—get the type of care they want and deserve.

In the workshop that Amy and I lead together, someone asked how the pharma industry could help move things forward. My response? Maybe everyone should sit around the same table and move things forward together. (This is happening in certain areas within the healthcare industry, but it’s not happening enough to make a significant impact.)

Here is my learning, which I hope speaks to you: There are several organizations, teams, and individuals trying to make a difference in the world. So, climb in the sandbox with someone you have never thought of playing or working with. Get in their sandbox. WorldCongress#4Learn what they are doing and apply it to what you are doing.

We need more people tackling the world’s complex problems. My team and I were working with another partner this week and I love this comment they made, “Even the journey from diagnosis to the unknown can be an extraordinary experience.” How can you work with your perceived competitors to create life-changing, extraordinary experiences that make a bigger impact in the world?

WHAT I CAN DO AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

Here is my challenge to you this week: Go find the one person, organization, or team that works in the same space as you and start the journey to co-create and collaborate with them. If we are truly going to transform healthcare, all of us need to be in the same sandbox together.

Our you willing to get in that sandbox? 


 

 

Design Thinking, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Patient Experience

Let The Journey Begin: Moving From Communication To Connection


The Story . . .

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you stop caring who gets credit for it.” This is one of many important quotes I heard from Annette Logan, CEO at the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. Last week, some of our team had the honor of kicking-off a project with this organization. It is not often in IMG_0321one’s life when passion, purpose, and business all align, but it just happened to us.

In 2007, Cure 4 the Kids started at Annette’s kitchen table. The foundation started because she got fed up as a parent as she navigated care for her son after a significant accident. As a nurse, she knew that he was consistently getting substandard care and knew that there was a better way of doing things. When she launched the foundation, she committed to helping all kids, no matter of their socio-economic backgrounds. We were in the car with her when she blurted out one of the most profound statements I have heard in a long time: “The price of poverty shouldn’t be death for a child.”

This is exactly what I meant by the alignment of passion, purpose, and business. This organization is committed to transforming the pediatric patient experience. They’ve spent the past decade defying the odds as they’ve moved from the kitchen table into serving over 40,000 children. I will share more on Cure 4 The Kids as the journey continues. If you want to follow them on social media, here’s how to connect: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What We Learned And What You Can Learn . . .

Out of everything we learned in our two short days with Annette and her team (which was a lot), the quote that stuck with me is Annette’s take on communication issues that typically plague companies. She surmised that when people are frustrated by communication issues, they are really frustrated by a lack of connection.

Over and over, I hear executive coaches, trainers, and thought leaders share about it’s all about communication. I myself, have talked about this and have written and studied the art of communication between leaders and multi-generational workplaces. But, Annette fullsizeoutput_3c47reframed this issue for me.

How would it change the “health care” (two words) experience if we focused more on connection than communication? How can we take empathy to a whole new level by focusing on authentic connection with those around us?

What I Will Do And What You Can Do . . .

I challenge each of you to think about what it means to connect with people as you strive to communicate with them. Here is a little exercise to do on your own or with your team.

I Like, I Wish, And What If

Take five-minutes after you read this and ask yourself these three questions as you move from communication to connection. We would love to hear from you as you work on this in the future.

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Consumer Experience, Culture, Design, Design Thinking, Empathy, Engagement, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, storytelling

#CES2018: Consumers Want Experiences with their Technology


The Story

#CES2018 has come to a close and what a week it was! With over 180,000 people, 4,500 vendors, and cutting-edge technology all around, a colleague and I walked over 50,000 steps in 3.2 million square feet of exhibits. Although we didn’t encounter any breakthrough technologies this year, we enjoyed looking for trends and discovering ways to harness current technologies for new user experiences. We also learned a lot about robots, drones, Google, and sleep.

BuddyRobots. Everywhere you turned, there seemed to be some kind of robot that promised to make your life simpler. Some had faces and personalities; others were focused on a specific function. How about Buddy? Buddy is your companion robot who connects, protects, and interacts with each member of your family. Or, if you’d prefer, you can get a robot that sings “Happy Birthday” or one that cries with you. My favorite robot had to be the FoldiMate that folds your laundry.

Drones. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes to watch the Intel Light Show over the Bellagio fountains. Each night, Intel used 250 shooting star drones to perform a choreographed routine that dazzled the spectators. It was truly an amazing experience. And, there were drones everywhere within the show, too. Though we had some fun flying the smaller drones through an obstacle course, we also learned where the industry is going in terms of utilizing drones for improved customer experience.

Google

Google. In 2017, CES seemed to be dominated by Alexa (Amazon), but this year it was all about Google Assistant. Google had a significant marketing investment at the show (including wrapping the monorail cars) and had major booths to show that they plan to be a major player in the virtual personal assistant space. I don’t know who is going to win this battle, but if it was anything like this year at CES, Google is on the way!

Sleep. From the technology-filled mattresses and bedrooms to mediation and biofeedback tools, it was the year of sleep aides. One of the most fascinating things we witnessed happened at the NuCalm exhibit where we saw a room filled with people relaxing in reclining chairs with headphones and eye masks while attendants walked around to check on everyone. The exhibit claimed that you would feel like you got two hours of sleep after spending just 20 minutes with them. It was like a scene out of a sci-fi movie where humans gather in sleeping rooms for technology-enhanced sleep instead of sleeping in private bedrooms.

I also have to mention the weirdest thing we encountered this year at #CES2018, which was the PsychASec booth. In this exhibit we were told of a chip that could be placed in the back of your neck to help keep all your memories in tack as you get older. The story was intriguing and frightening all at the same time.

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The good news? It wasn’t real. It turns out this display was an elaborate marketing tool for the new Netflix series, Altered Carbon, in which human consciousness can be transferred from body to body. Though it was only a hoax, the exhibit was so well done that it took us a few minutes to figure out that it was just a TV show.

What I Learned And You Can Learn

As I tell everyone I work with, you must attend the CES show at some point in your life to experience something that is hard to put into words. For me, it’s about prospective. At CES, you get immersed into a world where possibilities are endless and the future is bright. It’s inspiring to see so many companies who are focused on making the world a better, more accessible place and who don’t let challenges stop their dreaming. As we continually say in the Nason Group, innovation and disruption is a mindset and a lifestyle. Nowhere is this more evident than CES.

Over the next few weeks, I look forward to diving into the hottest trends for 2018 including consumer trends and healthcare trends and helping you connect with what’s next in bridging technology with customer experiences.

What I Did And What You Can Do

This is simple. I am going to keep saying YES! in 2018.

Recently, I was asked about the Top Innovations To Expect in 2018. Here is my response:

“This is the year of the consumer, patient, or member. If your organization is not focusing on the human part of your interaction, you are going to be left behind. Yes, technology is important and should be an extension to your product of service, but not the only thing you think about.”

Though technology can be a significant piece of the innovation process, technology is only effective when paired with the voice and needs of the consumer.

So in 2018: Yes, to innovation! Yes, to technology! Yes, to the consumer! YES! YES! YES! 


 

Consumer Experience, Culture, Design Thinking, Diversity, Empathy, Human-Centered Design, Inclusion, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Patient Experience, Power of Yes, Strategy

The POWER OF YES! in Claiming What You Believe


The Story

2017 was an amazing year both professionally and personally. I celebrated 20 years with my Carlaamazing wife who, if it were not for, I would be completely crazy. (Thank you, Carla, for who you are to me and for everything you do for me.) As a parenting team, we saw lots of firsts for both of our children and got to enjoy some special times together. In September, I joined North Star Receivers and met a fantastic group of guys who have changed my life for the better. I also published a book called The Power of Yes! in Innovation! If you know me, you’ll know this is a true miracle within itself. (Thank you, Steve, for all of your hard work in pushing me to get this project over the finish line.) The Nason Group experienced tremendous growth and impact, including team members coming and going.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn

Throughout all of the events of 2017, I had a little voice in my head saying, “Shawn, what do you really believe?” That voice kept BELIEVE-IN-YOURSELF-ALWAYS--1challenging me to be a better person for my wife, kids, friends, and business partners. To respond to this nagging voice, I gathered the Nason Group team towards the end of the year and asked, “What exactly do we believe?” Something magical happened next. We hacked away at the question and, many iterations later, we have a set of We Believe statements that will help us move into the future together. We even brought in our partners to help us frame the statements so that the statements speak to the essence of who we are as the Nason Group. So, here they are:

We Believe . . .

  • The best thought solutions don’t always have to be complicated.
  • Using know me, surprise me, and make it easy will reconstruct the customer experience.
  • Disruption is healthy and necessary for growth and leads to new ideas that change the world (your world).
  • Ideas that are radical enough to change lives require a space for teams to create, develop, test, and implement.
  • Engaging consumers’ stories and voices are mission critical when exploring new ideas and the ONLY way to do business well.
  • Figuring out the right questions to ask takes time and energy.
  • With the POWER OF YES! anything is possible.

Working as a team to create these statements led me to a deeper understanding of the difference between doing and being. For too long, I’ve been caught up in the doing without spending enough time working on a foundation of being. Maybe you’ve been in the same boat?

What I Did And What You Can Do

In December, I spent a retreat weekend with my group from the North Star Receivers. Throughout the weekend, we examined at our lives and challenged each other to engage some hard questions, which led to even more clarity about my beliefs. My challenge for you this week is to do the same. Take some time to claim what you BELIEVE through these questions:

  • What conversations do I need to have?
  • What relationships do I need to address, let go of, or heal?
  • What activities do need to stop doing?
  • What activities do I need to start doing?
  • What am I going to do about “me” time?
  • What support do I need and what support am I open to receiving?
  • What is my mantra and brand that I want to live out?
  • What’s the impact I want to have in the world?

Enjoy!

NBC-Believe-logo

Consumer Experience, Culture, Design, Design Thinking, Empathy, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Patient Experience, Power of Yes, storytelling

#NoLimits at NGPX2017—The Power of Humanizing Care


The Story

Kate&ShawnImagine with me: you are a mother, a wife, and a nurse—and you have cancer. You’re on your way to yet another medical appointment, which is now a significant part of your schedule. You walk into the doctor’s office and, without looking up, the receptionist greets you by simply saying, “leukemia!” At that moment, you realize you aren’t a mother in their eyes, or a wife, or a nurse. You’re not even a human. YOU ARE NOW CANCER. This happened to a friend of mine, Kate Sims, 17 years ago. Though she is now cancer free, she gets a lump in her throat when she recounts this story. It was the moment she realized that it’s possible to feel non-human.

And then there’s my buddy, Jake French. He tells a powerful story about a strange jake french#2accident that left him as a quadriplegic in his early 20’s. In a brief moment, his dreams of working for the forestry department and spending long days exploring the outdoors were shattered. One of the first things he remembers after the accident was waking up in a hospital bed being told by the surgeon, “Jake, you will never walk again. You will never feel anything in your arms or hands, or be able to use them again.” Words that could possibly be true, but not the first words he needed to hear after his accident.

These are just two stories that affected me and my team at the Next Generation Patient Experience Conference in San Diego, CA. I had the honor of being one of the chairs of the conference this year and to be involved in several of the sessions. We met amazing people and heard powerful, transformative stories about the great things being done in hospital systems and medical practices around the world to improve the patient experience. One of the highlights for me, was giving the opening remarks for the conference, The Power of Yes! In Health Care (vs. The Power of No! In Healthcare).

What We Learned And What You Can Learn

  1. The Power of Community – As a team, we were reminded that working in this space (improving patient experience) is challenging and complicated. Though it’s a constant uphill battle, our passion was ignited for continuing to be thought leaders and disrupters. Most importantly, we were reminded that we need to humanize care more now than ever before, as evidenced in the two stories above.
  2. The “Hi Ya” Principle – Jake French taught us that, in health care, there are a few four-letter words that need to removed from everyone’s vocabulary: Can’t, Don’t, and Won’t. When you hear these words you need to use your loudest Screenshot 2017-11-30 06.50.39Hi Ya!” and kick them out, which is happening in the picture of Jake above.
  3. Keep It Simple – Our group led two roundtable sessions where we asked each participant to step into the patient’s role and share the things that mattered most to them. We gathered 100+ ideas that we will organize visually into a constant reminder of the patient’s voice in the disruption process. The truly amazing thing here is that none of the ideas were complicated or difficult. As a matter of fact, the best ideas were pretty darn simple, but these ideas have been held up by an overly-complicated health care system!

What We Will Do And What You Can Do

I have heard this said many times over the past few days: “We are all still humans.”  In the heat of the moment , however, when care is being provided, it’s too easy for the humanity to get lost.

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Here at the Nason Group, we have put a stake in the ground to make sure that we work to keep the humanity in patient care. After all, one of our core beliefs is:

Engaging consumers’ stories and voices are mission-critical when exploring new ideas and the ONLY way to do business well.

We will not waver from this! 

We will not compromise this!

We will be champions for humanizing care!

Today, we are launching a new web address (humanizingcare.health) as a reminder to us to always keep the humanity in health care.

Here is our ask of you: Take time to examine your care models, your processes, your values, and your core beliefs to make sure they are human-centered.

And then, live them out! Champion with us to make sure patient experience, member experience, and provider experience are the top priorities in your organization.

Mark_NGPX


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Culture, Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, Uncategorized

No, No, No! The POWER OF YES In Innovation Series – Part One


“The Power of Yes In Innovation” has become a mantra of mine over the past several years. Today, I will start a series on why this is so important not only in my life, but in everyone’s life. I will be sharing more about what it means, how it works and it’s power to transform both people (professionally and personally) and organizations.

To get us started, please take a minute and watch this video. I encourage you to engage in the call to actions after each one!

The journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION” is a continual learning process – every week, every day, and sometimes every minute! Here are a couple of my recommendations to get you started:

GET “NO” OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY! This word is stifling. It brings only negativity to teams, organizations, and into personal lives. You must begin to empower the leaders and associates around you to make decisions without fear of failure and try something new!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Take a risk and say, YES! Use the technique, Yes, And It will free you, your teams and the organization to fly to higher heights than you ever imagined possible.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF LEARNING! Yes, we have all heard this, but do you really do it as a leader? Do you really let your associates, teams, organizations, or leaders FAIL so they can LEARN? I’ve heard many cliche sayings over the past few years such as, “Fail Fast, Fail Forward,” “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap,” “Fail Fast, Fail Often!” What does each of these saying really mean?

I don’t know! But what I do know to be true is this: When you as a leader, as an organization, provide an engaging environment for people to learn, which sometimes includes failing, you will see your teams grow, learn, and move forward!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Find a project where you have space to learn. Do something totally different than how you would do it normally. Journal your learnings! How did it make you feel? What would you do again? What would you do differently? Then move on to your next project.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how these call to actions are helping and transforming you and your teams. Please send them to us at info@nasongroup.co!

See you next week as we continue on the journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION!”


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Culture, Design Thinking, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, Strategy

My Top 3 Reflections On “How To Outrun The DoDo!”


The Story…

This past week, I had the privilege of doing one of my favorite things during the year. I joined a group of health care (yes, two words – not one) innovators from the Innovation Learning Network. We traveled to the Netherlands and spent several days in the wonderful city of Nijmegen. During our time in Nijmegen, we were hosted by the REshape Center For Innovation at Radboudumc. I met the head of the center, Lucien Engelen, a couple of years ago in Toronto at one of these same events. At the same time, I met Zayna Khayat, a true innovation sherpa and my sister from another mother.  The theme they chose this week was, “How To Outrun The DoDo!”

Now the stage is set. One hundred health care innovators from the United States, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and many other countries, tackling systematic innovation around health care vs. healthcare (the care of the human vs. a system).

Here are my three take-aways:

Patient Included – In every sense of those words, The Netherlands has figured this out. I hear every week if not every day about patient-centered or member-centered design in this space, but we have not even tapped “patient included.”  To fully understand this, ourScreenshot 2017-10-22 16.32.46 group was introduced to Anne-Miek Vroom and the Ikone foundation. This group is a non-profit organization of humans who live and support those with chronic disorders. The organization is not an outsider in the system.  They truly co-create. They are intertwined into the health system and aim to bring better health care to all patients (I could write a whole blog on that subject, but not today.)

It’s All About The “Co!” – What does this mean? It means engaging the right people. Not just in mapping or analyzing the problem, but also in action to solve the problem. Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer from the NHS shared that with the group. Very simple to say, but not simple to do.

Helen presented us with the six CO’s her team lives by:

  • Coaching
  • Co-learning
  • Collaborating
  • Co-creating
  • Co-designing
  • Connectivity

Again, a whole blog could be written about Helen’s research and the amazing work the team is going to bring this to light by creating change agents. If you want to READ more the link is included here, as well as the link to Helen’s School for Change Agents. I encourage you to register.  I will be in the school in February!

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Health Innovation School – Why, oh, WHY have we not done this yet? I asked myself that question several times throughout the week. We have so many innovators trying to disrupt the healthcare system, but we have never brought clinicians, patients, start-ups, hospitals, and insurers all together in one-room for an extended period of time to solve the RIGHT PROBLEMS! There will be more to come on this, so be on the look-out!

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

This is pretty simple. Keep an open mind and explore the possibilities. Surround yourself with people that will push you to new limits and help you think differently. When you go to the Health Innovation School’s website, there is a great quote:

“Innovation is now a competency necessary for everyone across health and care, no matter what role or level.”

So, who are you going to surround yourself with to change the system from being healthcare to health and care?

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

Take 15 minutes today and find one person to “hack” away with. Whether it be your personal passion or your professional passion, just do it.

This is How You Can Outrun The DoDo!”


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Consumer Experience, Culture, Design Thinking, Empathy, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes

Members At The Center! – The Journey To The Consumer


The Story…

This past week was a fantastic week for the Nason Group and one of our partners, Health Partners Plans. Just over three months ago, a group of Consumer Experience Pioneers embarked on a journey to improve member communication for their organization. After six iterations and many healthy discussions of the “how might we” statement, the group moved forward with this focus: “How might we optimize, streamline and humanize communications for care managed Medicaid members with diabetes.

Let’s take a step back and look at the process this group of pioneers navigated. We created a 12-week process that is broken-up into six two-week sprints (if you would like to learn more about the sprint process, please reach out to us).

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This was the first time our partners had run a project like this within their organization, and the results were phenomenal, as you can see below:

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These pioneers worked hard to bring the four prototypes to life. This is where the story continues. We were honored to watch the team present each of these prototypes to the CEO and other key leaders within the organization – it was awesome. It was a very “proud papa” moment for me as I witnessed all of their hard work come to life. They are all ROCK STARS and it was a monumental moment for the organization. Be on the look out for the report out on their next project.

What We Learned And What You Can Learn…

Collectively, we all experienced transformational “learning” during this process. These learnings have become a pivotal part of who we, as Nason Group, will become in the future.

Many times in the consumer experience industry you will find a “know it all” attitude around the correct approach to the consumer experience. This is something we have come face to face within this journey with our partner. We, the Nason Group, arrived on the scene with our initial analysis in hand and proceeded to inform the organization of the issues with their consumer experience process – along with confidently providing them with a list of steps to take to fix this issues. As you might expect, this approach was not entirely successful.

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Throughout this journey, we learned – willingly and sometimes unwillingly – that consumer solutions are often organic. They must be allowed to evolve and transform within each unique experience. Our partners at HPP pushed us to think differently and to adjust our process to better meet the client where they stand. We listened to our consumer and we learned! 

What We Can Do And What You Can Do…

I have explained what we did and what we learned! We took time, built an open relationship with our client and most importantly, truly partnered with our client on their journey to the consumer.

So what, Shawn? The so what is what you can do:  LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN!

Take the time to listen to your customers or consumers openly and honestly so that you garner an authentic understanding of their challenges, experiences, and needs. Do not approach any situation believing you know exactly what to do for your client, customer or consumer. This learning experience has been awesome for me and our group! Not always easy, but truly transformational!


 

Consumer Experience, Culture, Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, storytelling

What I Thought I Knew – I Learned At “The Network!”


The Story…

This past week Steve and I traveled to Boston to attend the inaugural Innovation Leader event, The Network! There were 50 innovators and disruptors from all industries and IMG_8304walks of life. Now, let me be perfectly honest – most in the room were at one-time involved in corporate innovation and frankly got sick of all the red tape and bureaucracy.

Additionally, many of us in the room are in some type of consultant role. I wasn’t sure what to expect – but it turned out to be AWESOME! We met some incredibly cool people and made new friends that in the future, I know we will turn to for their rich knowledge and expert skills.

One of those crazy people was Toni Newman. Toni is a ROCK STAR who is passionate about the architecture and dynamics of consumer experience. I love Toni’s favorite saying, Why Not!

This story is just one of the many that we heard during the day. I look forward to getting together again. Thank you Innovation Leader!

What We Learned And What You Can Learn…

Innovation Failure 97% of Executives or CEO’s are unhappy with their innovation work in Corporate America. The discussions in the room that day were rich – so many execs present had experienced failure and felt unhappy. The interesting thing is that FAILURE is at the heart of Innovation. It’s what you do with it that makes the difference in attitude and value. Unfortunately, many of these teams are just doing innovation for innovation sake, instead of tying it to their business goals.

Just recently, I read a blog from Phil McKinney,  The CEO Innovation Dilemma. Phil states, that 97% of CEO’s say innovation is important, 73% agree it’s important in their organization, but only 35% are confident their organization can do it. So, what do we do?

Storytelling – What is your desired ending? What is your controlling idea? How Can I Build Empathy? What FullSizeRenderIs My Innovation Story?

Think about these three things

  • Act One: What is the Challenge?
  • Act Two: What is the Struggle?
  • Act Three: What Changed In The World?

Each of us in this space have a story that connects us to our consumers. Some of them good, some of them not so good. But the bottom-line is that we all have a narrative around our journey and our experiences. Learn how to share your story. People and/or consumers respond with richer engagement and loyalty when they can connect to who you are.

Landscape Scan – At the end of the day at THE NETWORK, we did an exercise to examine the Innovation Landscape, which was led by Dave Rutley and his team from Collective Next. We started with 2017 and looked back 10+ years and forward 10+ years. It was a powerful exercise witnessing the think tank in the room. Here are a couple of quick highlights the group came up with:

  • Thought Leadership – The people and influencers we currently look to are shifting, yet we still depend a great deal on the founding leaders of this movement.
  • Methodologies – These come and go, but what doesn’t change is there is always a consumer!
  • Landscape – Things are moving so fast in the world today that we as innovators are challenged to keep up more than ever before.

What We Can Do And What You Can Do…

This is pretty simple! Keep learning! Keep partnering! Keep exploring! As I stated above, the world is changing at an incredible pace – you must stay ahead of challenges and obstacles so you can continue to INNOVATE! 

Take 15 minutes this week. Get out and do something new and different. Challenge yourself to get out of the norm!