SPARK V02 – Bringing Intention to Life

This week, we’ll continue our deep dive into the power of Intention. If you missed last week’s Spark, get caught up here.


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.

How are we “building the new” instead of “fighting the old” on this journey to transform health care from the Inside Out? Are there certain challenges or obstacles we dwell on instead of seeking out opportunities for growth and new potential?

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.


Extra (Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra) Ordinary

Writer, Director, and friend of The Experience Lab, Brad Montague, set a very clear Intention when he began his work with his younger brother-in-law Robby: to bring childlike wonder to the lives of all humans, no matter their age. The result of their Intention was a wildly popular YouTube video series called Kid President. Kid President shares uplifting and inspiring messages to remind all viewers that we can use the power of positive Intentions to leave the world better than we find it.

When we think of bettering the world, we often think of heroes. Watch this Kid President video as a reminder that heroes are made when ordinary people – like all of us – decide to be extraordinary (or extra, extra, extra ordinary).

Health care is a life-changing industry filled with heroes who literally save lives every day. When we don’t live each day with the Intention to see those we lead and those we serve as heroes, we risk critical players on our teams falling into the shadows.

How might we use Intention to guide the way we see our team members as heros in our organizations? How can we ensure that each team member realizes his or her true hero-ness?

SPARK V1 – Beginning with Intention

We are thrilled to welcome you to The Experience Lab! Please enjoy your Sparks Volume 1, the first of your weekly Essentials Sparks. This freshly curated collection is meant to inspire you to think, encourage you to take action, and provoke change. Share it with your team. Add something new to your day. Try incorporating just one new element and see what happens.

Sparks will be sent to your inbox every Tuesday from essentials@advisory.com.


The Power of Intention

January is a time of fresh starts, and what better time is there to talk about 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 heart 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 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.” So 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 SPARKS:

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, the edges of our wounds 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 get very clear on what our Intentions are. Set our north stars. Take aim. Then make it happen. Intention is how we can bring our organizations together.


Manifesto x 2

Sitting on the steps of Union Square in New York City, brothers Dave and Mike Radparvar decided to write down how they define success. The goal was to create something they could reflect on. The result was The Holstee Manifesto, a viral smash success and the launchpad for their brand, Holstee.

A manifesto is a megaphone for Intention. The Holstee Manifesto speaks an unapologizing truth about what matters most and is a perfect example of how a series of Intentions built a successful business model. There wasn’t a product to sell or a service to provide until the Manifesto was defined, published, and shared with the world. We never know with how many hearts and minds our Intentions will resonate. The Holstee Manifesto has now been translated into 13 languages (and counting).

Getting inspired by manifestos? Want to understand the journey more? Explore The Unbusy Manifesto, another great example of an Intention-filled manifesto from Jonathan Fields.

If you wrote your own manifesto, what would it say? What matters most? Writing a manifesto is a journey, but why not start? Invite input from your team and see what resonates.

Sing and Dance While the Music Plays

How do we look at our lives? Is it a journey? Where are we trying to go? If we focus only on end goals, what happens to our daily lives,  what do we miss? This powerful video shares British philosopher and theologist Alan Watt’s thoughts on the journey of intentional living as it relates to music and dance. Perhaps it’s not where we are going after all, it’s how we get there — the pure enjoyment of playing the music or performing the dance. We love this video and invite you to watch it because the easiest way to reflect on the Intention you have for your work is to first reflect on your Intention for living. Start now.

What might we notice if we started living more in the right now? Instead of focusing on the long term, write down three things you intend to do today that could add to your happiness. Then do them.