Selling customer experience: art of the pitch

1958 award-winning ad for McGraw-Hill via Dan Pink

The key to galvanizing your audience with a good story is to make listeners feel that they can be heroic. When good salespeople prospect and pitch, they must be alert to the stories running through their customers’ minds. What is their internal hero story? What do they wish to achieve through this sale? Whom do they wish to impress? What kind of person do they hope this sale will help them become? ~ Philip Delves […] Read more »

Delight is the result of discovering areas in a possibility space

If I were Will Wright, I’d say that ‘Fun is the process of discovering areas in a possibility space.’ We talk so much about emergent gameplay, non-linear storytelling, or about player-centered content. They’re all ways of increasing the possibility space, making self-refreshing puzzles. Theory of Fun In a similar vein, is it possible to say that “delight is the result of discovering areas in a possibility space?” And that to deliver experiences that delight designers need […] Read more »

Designing possibility spaces for experiences

Games usually start at a well-defined state (the setup in chess, for instance) and end when a specific state is reached (the king is checkmated). Players navigate this possibility space by their choices and actions; every player’s path is unique. Games cultivate – and exploit – possibility space better than any other medium. In linear storytelling, we can only imagine the possibility space that surrounds the narrative: What if Luke had joined the Dark Side? […] Read more »

Psychology of change

Change management is in need of a transformation through an improved understanding of how humans interpret their environment and choose to act. The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management Ever made this resolution: “I’m going to keep my email inbox empty.” Were you successful? I wasn’t. Why is change so hard? Because we’re not Econs, a term the authors of Nudge coined to portray the flawed thinking behind how people think. Econs are people who can think like Einstein, […] Read more »

No scene that doesn’t turn

Sparkline by Nancy Duarte, Resonate

Look closely at each scene and ask: what value is at stake in my character’s life at this moment? Love? Trust? What? How is that value charged at the top of the scene? Positive? Negative? Some of both? Then at close of scene, ask: where is this value now? Compare. If answer at end is same as opening, ask why is this scene in the script? Robert McKee Start, every time, with this inviolable rule: […] Read more »

What story does your approach to change tell?

The approach you take to a change initiative such as the deployment of enterprise software tells a story to those affected. Consider what each of these comments reveals:  “If we didn’t do it quick enough, the person in charge of the project would send email to their boss, bosses’ boss, up to the CEO… ‘Are you kidding us? You really cc’d that to the CEO?’” “We were never told what it is for and why […] Read more »

Not every interaction is a moment of truth

SAS get in there and fight

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact. Robert McKee I’ve been wrestling with the concept of moments of truth lately. One of the objectives when visualizing experiences using customer experience journey maps is to identify and redesign the moments of truth most critical in the journey. At first glance moments of truth feel like a simple concept, but when […] Read more »

What motivates people at work

Would your organization be more successful if your employees were more obedient? Or, would you be more successful if your employees were more artistic, motivated, connected, aware, passionate, and genuine? Seth Godin, Linchpin Try asking people in your organization: “Why does this organization exist… why do you come to work each day?” or “Why does this change initiative matter?” If you get a diverse set of answers such as “to make money” “because I need […] Read more »

Redirecting personal and organizational narratives

People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves. What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change. Seth Godin As I mentioned in story editing techniques for behavior change, story editing is a set of techniques for redirecting people’s narratives about themselves, others, and the […] Read more »

Story editing leads to behavior change

Not only do we need to view a problem through other people’s eyes, we can also change the way they view it with relatively simple interventions. Even if self-views are often embedded in years of family dynamics, personal relationships, and cultural forces.  Kurt Lewin Though it was more than 20 years ago, I still recall when Claude Jutra, a well-known Quebec film director, drowned himself after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. This weekend I […] Read more »