“We tend to remember the best or worst moment of an experience, as well as the last moment, and forget the rest.” This is the main premise of the book The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, a fascinating account of how to intentionally orchestrate experiences to create moments that are memorable.

People have more opportunities to develop “defining moments” than they may first realize. The book cites examples of a high school that produced a “signing day” for college enrollment with all the pomp and circumstances of an athletic signing day, but for all students continuing their education. A resort created a binder of pictures showing what a child’s forgotten stuffed toy did on its “extended vacation.” A company created an intentional “First Day Experience” with messages from the chairman, a gift and group luncheon. Two high school teachers collaborated to create a mock trial in a real courtroom as a way to make an academic experience that was more memorable than prom.

It is in everyone’s best interest to create moments that matter. Not only do they provide a more satisfying experience for the customer, they distinguish the company from others that are likely providing the same service. A friend just recounted his round of college visits with his daughter and the sameness of all the presentations. What a lost opportunity to create a visit experience that was memorable, thus increasing the chances that someone will invest tens of thousands of dollars through their enrollment. McDonald’s is losing market share (in my opinion) not because of the food, but because the experience of eating there ranges between generic and poor. Their once innovative Playland has become passé and they have done little to intentionally consider the dining experience. Contrast that with an Eataly restaurant where you can watch staff making pasta by hand or even with Five Guys who provide free peanuts and display the name of the farmer who grew the potatoes used in their fries that day.

Author Cesare Pavese said: “We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” Utilize the Heath Brothers’ resource to help you unlock the power of moments through intentionality instead of leaving them to chance.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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