Let's horse around

While I was running the Milwaukee half marathon I reflected on the conference I had attended just a few days earlier.  There were so many great speakers, but the one I remembered most was a gentleman who had spent most of his working life at Disney (aka a company oftentimes at the forefront of customer service).  He spoke of employees creating experiences vs. completing tasks.  One inspirational example he gave was of a housekeeper at a Disney hotel tucking in stuffed animals during turn down service so the families would return to a sight that would make them smile.  Their task was to turn down the bed yet instead, with little extra time spent and no additional expense they created a really positive experience for their guests.
So as I passed mile 11 I neared a police officer who had obviously been tasked with keeping the runners in one lane and car traffic in another.  And while he was fulfilling this task he also had his bike parked on the opposite side of the road playing music so the runners could hear, and he was also cheering on the runners.  Did he have to do this?  No.  Did it create a positive experience for (hopefully) everyone running past?  Yes.  Putting this “create positive experiences” lens on everything is so powerful.  I got back to my hotel and started noticing small details that made my experience better.  My favorite was instead of “Do not disturb” signs hung up on doors it was “Horsing around...do not disturb” – every time I saw one it made me smile.  This hotel had taken something that was a given in the industry, the generic “do not disturb” sign and made it, well, fun and funny.
I obviously discussed all of this in great detail with my amazing team.  And I think we were all in agreement – we need to continue to focus on creating positive experiences for those around us, but we also need to horse around, especially at work. -- GBH