The Director and The Experience Architect
We all know a good movie when we see one, and likely, we’ve all experienced the quintessentially American “dinner and a movie” date. Since having children, my husband and I prefer the slightly lesser known perfect date, which we call “breakfast and a movie.” I’m not sure which one of us was the Experience Architect on that one, but it’s a winner!
One thing we always consider when choosing a movie is who is the director. I mean, we are about to inflict double toddlerhood on a grandparent and invest cold, hard cash to have a few small hours to ourselves. It’s imperative to see a good movie, and a good director helps ensure that our experience is as pleasurable as we hope. As I continue reading Tom Kelley’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation, I would like to introduce you to The Director and the Experience Architect. These two personas have pizazz!
The Director is a persona I can see myself adopting from time to time. The Director has the charisma to pull people out of their comfort zone, letting them shine, stepping back from the spotlight in order to see the big picture. In some ways, The Director is one of the more visionary personas. The Director is concerned with ideas, production, chemistry, and completion. Kelley lists five traits of a successful Director. They give center stage to others. They love finding new projects. They rise to tough challenges. They shoot for the moon. And they wield a large toolbox of skills. (p.145)
With these five capabilities, The Director is able to fully accomplish the single-most important task, which is to bring the project to its final goal.
One thing The Director truly excels at is building strong teams. They look beyond the basic skills known to a person to see the latent abilities they have to offer a group. Once a strong team is assembled, the most critical aspect to the project is getting started. The Director, who has taken the time to get to know the team members (and their diverse skills) face to face will have an uncanny ability to propel the group to action, inspire them to push boundaries, and generate momentum. Innovation thrives under strong direction. A good Director persona helps the group brainstorm by setting the stage, offering support, and then letting the team have the leeway to work independently towards group success.
“A good Experience Architect starts with the same raw materials as others, but then mixes in something original and memorable” (p.175).
The Experience Architect persona sets the stage for innovative new experiences. There are many way to do so, such as our adoption of breakfast and a movie instead of dinner and a movie. The main desire of The Experience Architect is to show the power of experience within a product or company.
In recent years, there has been a consumer drive to embrace the journey. The experience of a product draws in consumers differently than the actual need for the product. Little events in life, such as getting ice cream or buying a bottle of flavored water can be orchestrated to offer an experience to the consumer. The Experience Architect is capable of seeing how a one-size fits-all approach does not serve all products and services equally. Consumers are looking for authentic experiences, new and memorable ways to connect to their product. In a world of mass production, consumers want to feel a connection to the products they choose.
The Experience Architect is the one who believes in “the moveable feast.” They “have a talent for finding the experience in everything, even what might otherwise seem to be the most run-of-the-mill products” (p.168). They are creators and defenders of the extra-ordinary.
Together, The Director and the Experience Architect make memorable innovations for both the company and its patrons. When it comes to building teams in your company, be sure to find these personas among your team members.