Gilmore & Pine - 2011 thinkAbout

In our experience economy, every day is a dress rehearsal … and without the premiere.  It is that simple.  It is that frightening.  This was the conclusion of a wide range of experience experts that gathered in Del Mar, CA last week for their annual thinkAbout.

As the event ended, the group shared their key insights after a couple of days together.  Among them were:

  • It can be just as important for a business to work on their employee experience, as it is to work on their guest experience.
  • Most employee training targets skill development, not how to create an experience.  The balance needs to shift radically in most businesses.
  • “Your customers are always buying something you are not selling” or “Your customers buy what they value, not what you sell.” – Paraphrasing of quotes attributed to Peter Drucker that are worth remembering.
  • Our day-to-day thinking is often blocked by the adequate solution already in place in our business.  A better experience is possible, if you are able to toss out the one you’ve settled for instead.
  • In your business, make decisions as if the future were here today.  The present is the past of the future. – Our thanks for these insights to Stan Davis, the author of Future Perfect.
  • The virtual world of experience began long before computers.  Readers have been transported to imaginary worlds for centuries through good books.
  • When exploring the multi-verse of real/virtual options in your business, begin with the experience you have today.  Then explore the experience realms next door as they vary by time, space or matter.  –  Reading Infinite Possibility by Joe Pine & Kim Korn will help.
  • When you have some time, sit back and reflect on which is more important … the experience itself or the memory of it? – For some help with this one watch the YouTube by Daniel Kahneman.
  • Finally, an insight: You are not what you do; you do what you are.

2011 Del Mar thinkAbout

This is just a sampling of a much longer list by those attending the 2011 thinkAbout.  The attendees all help businesses create experiences either in the real world, the virtual world, or some variation of the two. They use the annual event to share what they know and to learn from each other.

They are not alone.  Much further from the theory of a thinkAbout are those who work in retail, wait tables, cut hair, or repair plumbing … and where every day is a dress rehearsal.

What are the key insights you have about creating experiences in your work?