Becoming an Experience Architect
One of the game-changing concepts related to guest services came from Tim Brown's book "Change by Design". Brown, the CEO of the innovation and design firm IDEO, has challenged my thinking about design in a number of ways: it's not just for creative industries or people designing products. Design thinking is most powerful when applied to abstract, multifaceted problems that address a wide range of issues and concerns. Problems that the typical church encounters every day!
Here's a great example from one chapter on the design of experience:
Design has the power to enrich our lives by engaging our emotions through image, form, texture, color, sound and smell. The intrinsically human-centered nature of design thinking points to the next step: we can use our empathy and understanding of people to design experiences that create opportunities for active engagement and participation.
Wow-that's a lot to think about! In the world of serving the church where I work and live, the concepts of designing for experience are so important, yet so often totally overlooked. Brown goes on to talk about 3 "themes" of the design of experiences:
- The experience economy - people have shifted from passive consumption to active participation
- Best experiences are not scripted at corporate headquarters but decided on the spot by service professionals who create an authentic, genuine, and compelling experience
- Implementation is everything-an experience must be as finely crafted and precision-engineered as any other product
The experience blueprint is at one and the same time a high-level strategy document and a fine-grained analysis of the details that matter.
It's time to create an Experience Blueprint for your Guest Services!