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Find Your Purpose Today! The Narrative Of Self-Care Being Selfish Is Over!

The Story…

Imagine with me, you enter a restaurant for the first time in a city you have never been. You come from behind the fire place and there are nine men sitting at a table; the table you are getting ready to sit at yourself. You sit down and introduce yourself to each of them. All are very personable and you have great conversation throughout the meal; but there is that time when you all look at each other thinking, “Who is that man? What does he do? Where is he from? Why is he here?”  

All of these guys are from different walks of life.

A Realtor.

A Restauranteur.

A Life Coach.

A Bio-Hacker.

A Wine Maker… just to name a few.

They are all entrepreneurs. Passionate about life. Passionate about family. Passionate about learning from each other. Each one of them are on a journey. All in different spots, but a journey to be a better person! 

Well, that experience is real. It is real to me! I had the honor to travel to Vancouver and stay on Bowen Island for the weekend.  I was introduced to these incredible men through an organization called ManTalks. Connor Beaton is the founder and the one I hold responsible for wrecking my life (in a good way). We spent the whole weekend digging deep into who we are called to be as men, husbands, partners, friends, and most of all; how to be true to ourselves. I had the opportunity to connect in honesty, integrity, transparency, and loyalty, in a way that I had never done before. What’s amazing is this; they are all now brothers in my life, and I get to spend the next year on an amazing journey with them.

Over the weekend, we focused a great deal of time on PURPOSE. What does purpose mean? It’s simple…

Purpose Definition

I think all of us have thought about this at one time or another, and many of us have struggled through it; possibly even lying to ourselves on why we exist or why we were created.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

Where do I begin? I learned that it is OK to focus on me. To focus on what I want as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a friend. I learned that for me to be my best in each of those roles, I need to take care of my emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

One of the exercises we did through the weekend was to create a purpose documentI am still working on my SFD (those of you who have worked with me, know what this means.) It is coming along and will be a work in progress. What it HAS done is allowed me to bring focus in the right areas in my life.

There are two things I believe that you can learn from my journey. First, stay true to yourself. Be the best you and then you can be the best for all of those around you. Second, take time to breathe. Breathe in all around you. We learned a wonderful new breathing technique. If you are interested you can go here: Wim Hof Method.

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

I have taken time already on this journey to write out goals and objectives that will allow me to live out my purpose statement. In these goals and objectives, I will focus on things that will make me better in each area of purpose. It may not always be easy, but it is what is right.

What can you do? You can take time to slow down. Write your purpose statement. Focus on the best you and begin to live it out. Take 30 minutes today to do that.

P.S.:  Take 5 minutes today and go put your feet in the grass! It’s amazing! (Adam Hart this is for you Brother!)

Feet In The Grass

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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!


 

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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!


 

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The Journey To The Consumer: You Mean A Doctor (Provider) Is A Consumer?

Well, hell yes, a DOCTOR is a consumer! 

The Story…

This week we started a 12-week journey with our partner in Philadelphia, Health Partners Plans. We are examining ways they can improve and cultivate stronger, better-connected provider relationships, specifically by changing how they and their subscribers perceive and value the provider relationship. We want to get them to view their provider partners as consumers and as individuals, i.e. humans. I know there seems to be some sarcasm in that statement – but it is true.

I love what HPP’s website states about their commitment to the provider:

We are committed to partnering with you to improve the health of our members and the communities where they live. We are equally committed to providing you with the support and service you need to achieve this goal.

It’s true, they really do believe it and are committed to making it happen!

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

The truth is this: Doctors became doctors to care for people. They want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of their patients. Contrary to what some people believe, they are not all in it for the $$$!

I recently read an article in Readers Digest, What Your Doctor’s Really Think (But Won’t Say To Your Face. I really was blown away at some of the insights in this article. Here a few of the highlights:

  • Don’t Ask Me To Lie – This absolutely blows my mind. We go see our provider and then do not want them to tell us the truth. Really?
  • Your Missed Appointments Really Matter To Me – I learned this week from our partner that, at times, the no show rate for some of their provider offices is 40%. Huge number. So, I spent some time researching this issue and found an article, One Way To Solve The No-Show Problem. The article states that on average can reach as high as 50%. With the overall no show rate so high, why do we blame doctors for their double booking and long wait times? Just a question we need to consider.
  • I’m Not Scared Of Your Google Search – I love this quote within the article:

“When patients come in with three inches of printouts, I know I’m going to have a good conversation. But they’ve also almost always terrified themselves beyond need. I wish they would e-mail or call me so I could put things in perspective. But in general, patients who have researched their condition tend to educate faster and take better control of their care.” —James C. Salwitz, MD

  • I Could Use Empathy Too – This is really fascinating to me. I can find numerous articles that talk about Why doctor’s need to have or show empathy, but none on how we as consumers need to express empathy for doctors. It has to be a two-way street.
  • Sometimes I Don’t Know What’s Wrong – I understand that providers went to school for many years to gain knowledge and skills, but it doesn’t mean they know everything. Give them a break. Let them be your partner on the journey!

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What You And I Can Do…

I think this is pretty simple for not only us but also for the doctors. Partner, partner, partner! Find a doctor you can trust, build a relationship, and start on your journey together toward improved health and increased wellness.

We are very excited to be partnered with an organization that is working to build and cultivate a richer, empathy-driven relationship with their Provider partners.

Stay tuned for updates as we embark on this very exciting journey with them!


 

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Getting NO Out Of Your Vocabulary! The POWER OF YES In Innovation Series – Part One

“The Power of Yes In Innovation” has become a mantra of mine. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more about what it means, how it works and it’s power to transform both people and organizations.

To get us started, please take a couple of minutes today 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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The Power Of A Premium Consumer Experience

All of us have experienced it from time to time – the Power Of A Premium Consumer Experience!  Whether it is on the phone or in person, you leave that experience feeling special.

The Story…

Recently our team began working with one of our partners to lay the foundation
for this type of premium experience for their members. Two of the foundational UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2748tools we use is ethnographic research and empathy mapping. During this process, we did live interviews, made phone calls, and created “How Might We” statements. Two of the test phone calls were to healthcare companies, and one to a service based company.

Let me say this, two of those experiences were anything but premium, and one did not let us down at all. They provided fantastic service. Now I know, you want to know the names of those companies – but I am not going to reveal them on this blog. With that said, you can probably guess which ones were which, but I will tell you, both of our calls within the healthcare industry were not only dissatisfactory but overall, unhelpful. The one in the service industry went above and beyond to not only meet our needs but exceed them.

What We Learned…

I have stated over and over again, that there is so much to learn from organizations that are service based and built around the needs of the consumer. Recently, I read an article on the 5 publixCompanies With Envy-Worthy Customer Experience. The companies are Zappos, Publix, Southwest Airlines, USAA, and Nordstrom’s. I have had personal experience with four of them, and they each focus on the consumer first on the consumer above anything else. I want to share a bit of my experience with Publix. For those of you who do not know Publix, they are a grocery store. I no longer live where there is a Publix, and miss it every day. When we travel back to where we can find one, we make it a point to shop there. Why? Because they lived by the three principles we live by here at the Nason Group.

I want to share a bit of my experience with Publix. For those of you who do not know Publix, they are a grocery store. I no longer live where there is a Publix and miss it every day. When we travel back to where we can find one, we make it a point to shop there. Why? Because they lived by the three principles we live by here at the Nason Group. They KNEW US, SURPRISED US, AND MADE IT EASY FOR US to shop there. Whether it is knowing our name or our tastes – they consistently meet our needs and make us feel like we were #1!

What We Can Do…

The Power Of A Premium Consumer Experience has no price tag to it. As the Nason Group works with partners we cannot stress this enough. Our value proposition to organizations is that we MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE AT! Invest up front to meet your consumer where they are at and it will not only bring loyalty but ultimately revenue and profits to your business. We will continue to live by this motto and encourage every one of our partners to do the same.

What You Can Do…

Take 30 minutes this week and go spend time with your consumer. Ask them 3 simple questions.

  1. What do you like about our product or service?
  2. What is one thing you would change about our product or service?
  3. How can we get to know you better?
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And So It Begins…The Journey To The Consumer!

The Story…

It’s 8:30 in the morning, the room is set, and there are two crazy facilitators at the front of the room. You look at the walls and there are “How Might We…” maps, Journey Maps, a Business Model Canvas, and tons of markers and post-its all over the tables.

Some of you will remember the first time you walked into a room set-up like that. You might have felt uneasy! Perhaps you were even a bit afraid! Some of you may have felt strong resistance and thought to yourself,  “No Way, I’m not doing this!”

Well, this scene was no different. One by one they entered the room – not really sure what was about to take place, but willing to give it a try! The facilitators joined all 10 of their key stakeholders at the table – we were all ready to go! And so it begins (dun-dun-dundun) – The Journey To The Consumer!

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This was the dynamic scene that our team was honored to facilitate this week. We are working with an empathy-driven partner as they begin to peel back the layers to build a stronger relationship with their members.

We met two of the executives from this organization in July of last year where they heard Shawn speak about Breaking The Rules! These executives were excited, intrigued, and ready to take on this amazing opportunity. And so, the journey began this week. You will hear more about their experience over the next 10 – 12 weeks: What we learned! What we failed at! But most important, how we impacted the lives of their members!

What We Learned…

Over the past several years, in many different organizations, our team has led events just like this – and each and every time, we all learn something new. What I love the most is at the end of every day we ask that question, “What Did You Learn?” Here are some of the answers we heard the last two days:

  • No better time than now… Gotta do it right!
  • Now’s the time, we are a fresh pair of eyes!
  • Energized!
  • Having this conversation is critical!
  • Grateful!

These are very powerful words for each of us to hear. We at the Nason Group learned this week, that the group we are working with have heart, have passion, and possess a sincere desire to put the member first! The challenge before this team may be big, but we absolutely believe they can do it!

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What We Will Do…

It is simple! We will stand with and support this team on their journey. We will help guide, direct, and, point them in directions that lead them straight to the consumer. The journey to the consumer is not always easy, but it is always the right way to go. We are also committed to helping this organization with the tools and knowledge to move this work forward long after we are out of there.

What You Can Do…

Very simple! Take the first steps to begin this journey in your organization or business. If you know someone that can help you with it great. Find them and ask for their help. If not, reach out to us at the Nason Group! We partner with you and help you meet the needs of your consumer! One piece of advice, don’t be afraid to start the journey! There is no better time than now!

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Consumer Trends for 2017 – What are they and how do they impact your consumer?

The Story…

Here at Nason Group, our focus is on developing innovative mindsets and strategies that guide our clients to a better and clearer understanding of their consumer. Part of that process is looking ahead to consumer trends that promise to have an impact on their organization and get the client focused on building strategies, products -and services that will meet the consumer where they stand – either now or in the very near future.

In December 2016,  Ericsson Consumer Lab released their report, “10 Hot Consumer Trends 2017.”  The report is the result of online surveys conducted this past October, of advanced internet users in cities across the globe – to include Berlin, Chicago, Jakarta, Moscow, San Francisco, New York, Shanghai, and Toronto, just to name a handful. The respondents were not only a mix of nationalities – but age as well, with a span of between 15 and 69 years of age. Those surveyed are heavy users and early adopters of all kinds of digital technology – such as fitness trackers, smartphones and watches and the latest virtual reality headsets. They have their eyes and demands on the future – and we are listening.

We also took a look at the “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017” report by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander for Euromonitor International. Some of the areas examined in their report are the changing narrative of aging, children as “consumers in training”, the road to “faster shopping”, keeping it real as an organization – authenticity is a game changer for many consumers, personalizing the customer experience, post-purchase relationships, and wellness as a status symbol.

What We Learned…

From these two in-depth pieces of research, Nason group has identified our list for focus in 2017. Here is what we want to examine deeper:

2017 Consumer Placemats Picture

These are exciting, dynamic trends to watch. Our goal is to help our clients understand the implications of these trends for their consumers as they stand today, the impact of a competitor’s early leverage of the trends, the steps necessary to educate the organization on potential impact and lastly, as a leaders, how do these trends impact my ability to successfully lead my organization?

There is a great conversation around each of the 12 consumer trends for 2017 – we look forward to sharing our insights and opening a dialogue with you as you examine each one with us.

What We Will Do…

Our commitment is to continue to research globally where consumers are going and what they are expecting from organizations around the globe. We will continue to bring forth insights to not only help our partners but all those around us.

What You Can Do…

We would like you to consider these four questions as we journey through these trends over the next few weeks.

  • What are the implications of these trends on consumers using my product (s) or service (s)?
  • How might this trend impact my business if my competitors were to leverage this trend?
  • What steps to learn more about how this trend might affect my business?
  • As a leader, how might this trend impact my leadership style? And, what can I do about it?
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Why Do You Hire A Crazy Person With Passion? Innovation Is Why!

“You Hire Crazy People!”

That is my answer when I am asked how I hire people for innovation. There is so much truth to that statement (please do not be offended if you work in Innovation), but there is a part of you that has to be a little crazy to do this work no matter what industry you are in. Recently, I sat down with one of our team members, Brownrygg Woolls and shot this quick video. Enjoy!

https://videopress.com/v/jdlGQkrX

In the video I reference a blog post I wrote entitled, A Hustler, Hacker, Storyteller, Singer and Artist Walk Into A Bar. In that blog I shared about the team I worked with at the time. Although I work with a slightly different team today the principle is still the very same. There must be DIVERSITY & DIFFERENT THOUGHTS PROCESSES on your team to make it a success. I do not allow myself to hire or partner with anyone like me (that would be very scary anyways!)

In that same session with Brownrygg, he asked another question, “As A Young Person How Do You Prepare For This Field?” Here is my response:

https://videopress.com/v/qofg9ipC

Passion, Passion, Passion!

Why Passion? Any person with passion will run til’ they cannot run anymore. They will dig in until they find the answer. As a leader, I remember two team members who on paper would did not look to be the right fit, but they had something about them that resonated with me. I knew they were the right fit for the job. And guess what? They were! Yes, I believe in a foundation of education with any career, but as I stated in that short video – Do Not Read A Resume! Read The Person! Read Their Passion!

“I’d Rather Lose Myself In Passion Than Lose My Passion.” ~ Jacques Mayol

So, here is my challenge to you today as a leader or team member in the world of innovation: Surround yourself with diversity. Make sure you bring in skill sets that you do not have yourself. But most important, build a team filled with passion and you can conquer anything! Go Kick some #%$ today!

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Creating A Magical Experience! How You Go From Finance To Consumer-Centered Innovation!

I get asked frequently, “Shawn, how did you get into innovation & consumer experience?” My journey is probably not much different to many of us that work in the industry. You are doing one thing one day, and than the next day you want to do something different. I had spent the first part of my career as a musician and I was living in Orlando. My wife and I are huge Disney fans, so I took a leap and applied for a finance position (because that is a logical jump) and I got it.

Over the next six years, I had an incredible journey. I worked with extraordinary cast members, learned a great deal, and even worked with the Disney Cruise Line. Let me be clear! Disney has a culture of innovation. You begin to find yourself thinking differently – looking at things from a new perspective and ultimately, crafting business decisions differently. In the final part of my journey at Disney, I had the honor to become a Walt Disney Imagineer – an experience that transformed me.

WOW! What a journey it was!  It was an incredible time in my life. I got to do CONSUMER CENTERED INNOVATION Disney style. I learned two things that changed the course of my life.

First, I learned I hated finance!

Second, I learned there is no price tag on creating an experience for your guest, customer, or consumer!

In the two minute video below I share some my thoughts around embracing innovation and creating a premium consumer experience:

As I stated above and shared in the video, there is no price to creating a premium experience for your consumer – whether it be your end-user, a stakeholder, or the person sitting next to you. This idea has become such a passion of mine over the past five years, and I am determined that we can disrupt industries that do not do this well.

Just recently I read an article by, Steve Towers, titled, “The five crucial things successful CX companies do every day.” Here are those five things:

  • Top teams understand CX success and get out of the way of their people to let them get on with it.
  • Customer needs are understood and developed to create the organizational alignment towards successful customer outcomes.
  • Being customer-centric isn’t about projects – it is a state of mind.
  • Successful CX transcends measures and implements a rigorous feedback/feed forward framework.
  • CX is both the strategy and the operational objective to overcome needless complexity.

Although I do not know if I agree that these are the top five, I do agree you must start somewhere. That somewhere is with your consumer at not only in the center of what you do but on the whole journey! Involve them like never before! 

Today, I leave you with this thought: What are you doing for your consumer? Are you focused on them in everything you do? It is not always easy, and sometimes it can be challenging. Take 30 minutes this week and do the following things:

  1. INSIGHTS: Research three (3) companies that are consumer-centered and are known for their experiences (Nordstrom, Disney, Amazon, Marriott, Delta).
  2. INITIATE: Write down what it is that sticks out to you about those experiences.
  3. IDEATE: Think out of the box! Create potential ideas, solutions, or products you could do using those experiences within your business.

Have Fun!

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I would love to share your story on the POWER OF YES in INNOVATION in my upcoming book! Send me an email with your story.