Thursday, March 5, 2015

Daily Observation

If you are ever feeling stuck or short of the motivation that is deserving of your attention, go visit those you are serving. That's exactly what I did today. I went to MN Children's Hospital and sat in the lobby.

Walking from a comfortable seventy degrees inside to the ten degrees of realities that face them when stepping outside, screaming kids, stressed parents, and faculty enter and exit the building. Some of these kids may have just heard devastating news but walk with a smile on their face. My job is to develop a new way to help put a smile on the parents face. It reminded me of Steve Job's words, "Your customers dream of a happier and better life. Don't move products, Enrich lives."

In health care, we are concerned with the Triple Aim:
1. Improve Experience
2. Reduce costs
3. Improving population outcome

Here are the three things I observed while sitting in that lobby today:

1. Rich is knowing what you live for and having an abundance of it.
The currency that makes you happy is unique to you. All the money in the world may make it easier for these patients but not happier. This leads me to #2...

2. Connect before you correct.
Gain human empathy. What is at the heart and soul of your family member, colleague, customer, patient, neighbor? Find that before introducing them to what they may want/need. You change minds with the heart.

3. Reading is no substitute for experiencing.
Part of connecting is sharing in an experience which may be comfortable or uncomfortable and neither one is better. To whom much is given, much is required. I've been put in position to be able to make a difference for others and it's my duty to take full advantage. Is there an opportunity that you're not taking full advantage of?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kulula - An Airlines With A Personality

An airline named Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn't take itself too seriously and brings their brand personality into the design of their planes. And they do something unheard of… the flight attendant’s don’t use a script. Those scripts are generally white noise to most of us now. Imagine if we dropped scripts from health care customer service?

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported: 

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
"People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it !"

On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said,
"Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it 's something we'd like to have."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."

"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

From a Kulula employee:
"Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."

"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."

And from the pilot during his welcome message:
"Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
"That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline". He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
"Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it ?"
The little old lady said,
"Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement:
"We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Heard on a Kulula flight:
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Happiness Before Success

If I make $X, I can go on vacation to Barbados and buy that 26" boat that I can dock at my new cabin, then I will be happy. If I had season tickets to the Vikings and had one more garage stall so I don't have to squeeze in and out of my car door, then I would be happy. If I become what I consider successful, then I will be happy. Not true. Not somewhat, kinda, or a little true. And depending on the day, I've thought those thoughts, and I would bet season tickets that you have too.

Simply put, happiness is the precursor to success. Success is a moving target that you can't hit. It's like when you pay $5 at the fair to shoot a basketball at a hoop that's rim is smaller than the ball. You never won the giant teddy bear and will never win success. When you think you've hit it, your definition of success changes and instantly has a new definition, or number. Congrats, you've just created a new standard. And when I say congrats I don't say it sarcastically, I say it with intent because you are someone who inherently desires to be better and shoots for a higher standard.

This concept is important for us to internalize at an individual and corporate level. Individuals need to understand what makes them tick. Companies need to understand the individuals that make up their company and what makes each one tick instead of thinking of them as a number. If they know what makes them tick, they are in better position to make them happy, which sets them up for success. Depending on the person, there are countless items (big and small) that may sit atop the list when driving their happiness such as: flexibility, talent aligns with job, autonomy, positive feedback, faith, family, health insurance for their dog, seeing their child go to college, rock climbing, volunteering youth dance classes... the list goes on.

When happiness is present, so is discretionary effort because there is a sense of purpose, passion, gratification, and self-identification. Here is a filter for individuals and companies to think through when looking at how to bring more happiness to the world:

Find what makes you happy and do it!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center

I'm back to report the raw video effort did turn into something more colorful, and went from primitive to professional (see previous post Bullying Prevention). We produced this video which was used at this year's PACER Center's Annual Benefit with Jay Leno supplying the entertainment.

More to come.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This Ad Has a Secret Anti-Abuse Message That Only Kids Can See

Everyone thinks ideas are sexy. And they are. But you want to know what is sexier? Execution. The strategy behind having one ad that can engage two audiences with two simultaneously different experiences shows the power new technology brings when utilized correctly. Another article that highlights digital signage and technology today is The Changing Times of Digital Signage.

Gizmodo details the making of the ad: "In an effort to provide abused children with a safe way to reach out for help, a Spanish organization called the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation, or ANAR for short, created an ad that displays a different message for adults and children at the same time.

The secret behind the ad's wizardry is a lenticular top layer, which shows different images at varying angles. So when an adult—or anyone taller than four feet, five inches—looks at it they only see the image of a sad child and the message: "sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it." But when a child looks at the ad, they see bruises on the boy's face and a different message: "if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you" alongside the foundation's phone number.

The ad is designed to empower kids, particularly if their abuser happens to be standing right next to them. And while this is a great and worthwhile use of lenticular images, how long will it be before toy companies start doing to the same thing to hawk their products directly at kids?"