A Personal Experience

The stakeholder experience is always personal. Life is a personal experience. In the least individualistic settings, it’s still personal.

Let’s take the scenario of a young man at basic training. Yelling and long days are the norm. Haircuts are the same. Clothes are the same. Food is the same. But the experience is still individual.

No one can make someone else do a push-up.  In order to perform the task, the individuals have to want to do it themselves.  Only the individual can animate his frame to performs the task at hand. When the perceived outcome is worth the effort.

Onlookers may be able to appreciate the strain, but they do not live it the same way. Even in the scenario where others join in to do the push up their muscular strength and the strain required leads them to have a similar, but significantly different experience.

Both parties share the experience yet individually they share different experiences.

Shared experiences are simply overlapping segments of personal experiences.

When applying these insights to the stakeholder experience we may often try to ensure that the majority or average person would be delighted by the provided experience. In many cases this is true. There’s also truth in understanding that the average cases don’t address everyone’s expectations.

How then, do you build an experience that satisfies the majority and the fringe? If everyone’s so different how do you accommodate your audience? The answer is delightfully simple. Let them personalize it themselves.

Image result for spoon on mars

There is no spoon on Mars . We think there is because our brains are good at filling in the gaps. We are programmed to find patterns and see what we want to see. This simple observation can be used with stakeholders to help provide them the experiences that will delight.

Sometimes it means not giving them the answers. The Socratic method gives questions that can lead to answers.

The other technique I would recommend is layering. Layering the experiences is simply the process of giving depth to the environment of those experiences. Disney is very well known for this at their theme parks. The attention to detail of their cast members in setting up the various props adds a richness to the experience at their theme parks. Look to your left on Big Thunder Railroad and enjoy hidden nuggets of decoration. Look to your right and there’s another set of hidden nuggets waiting to be found.

What sort of experience will you help create today?