The power of defining moments

Bestselling author and Stanford professor Chip Heath examines how identifying and building “defining moments” is changing the game for experience design and financial performance.

Show notes:

People act and think differently in corporate settings. As businesspeople, we are wired for control, predictability, and problem solving. But what if those basic instincts are holding us back from creating experiences that are notable and memorable for customers?

Bestselling authors Chip and Dan Heath tackle this tension in their latest book, The Power of Moments, and examine how unshackling ourselves from corporate instincts can unleash powerful innovation and financial results.

Let’s start with the numbers: Research shows that we spend 80% of our time looking for and trying to fix problems and 20% of our time trying to make good things better. That 80/20 split makes sense; we are wired to identify and fill the potholes in operations, experiences, and financial performance. But it gets tricky from an experience design perspective. Research also shows that by focusing on making OK or good experiences better — creating defining moments — firms can receive a 9x higher revenue return.

That means for every $1 (or for whatever currency you’re using) of return realized by filling potholes, companies can gain a $9 return by building and refining those defining moments.

Defining moments are often narrow in scope, human in nature, generous in spirit, and representative of the ingenuity of those on the frontlines of the business. Some firms have a culture that welcomes this type of innovation; most don't and are instead biased toward control and predictability, which unintentionally stifles that form of ingenuity.

In this episode, bestselling author and Stanford professor Chip Heath shares the power of defining moments — how organizations can shift their thinking, processes, and structure to encourage a focus on creating moments that are notable, memorable, and fuel for profit.

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Featuring:

Chip Heath
Professor of Organizational Behavior
Stanford University