The enduring emotional connection of going beyond your own imagination

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Voyages of Imagination

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Recently I’ve been focused on a phrase a client of mine has begun to use, “beyond imagination”.

My vision is to create a Global Research & Development Center that isn’t just great; I want others to experience it as beyond imagination!

He is wondering how to best engage his employees, his peers and other business units across the company to so they will deeply resonate with his vision. He aspires to create an organizational capability that will become an industry benchmark and a new reason for customers to remember his company. He wants to raise the standards against which we set all other expectations. In his future world, the R&D Center is not just a source of product innovation; it is also an agent of marketing and public relations, an opportunity for employer branding and recruitment, and an enabler of a vision that connects customers more closely to the business.

Nice aspiration, isn’t it?

As we map out his strategy, the transition plans, and ways to take his story on the road, I find myself searching for my own sense of when I have been taken beyond imagination.

My first image isn’t how far reaching my thoughts are, but rather how small they seemed in comparison to someone else. I remember a training program in which one exercise was to imagine the vacation of a lifetime. I told my partner about wanting to visit Hawaii, a place I’d never been. At his turn, he beamed as he talked about space travel and a trip to the moon. Hawaii would still be great, but space travel was clearly beyond my imagination at that time. Not any more!

How do you tap into what it looks and feels like to go beyond imagination?

• Do you remember your first trip to Disneyland? Or watching the expression on your child’s face as they experienced utter delight?

• Have you ever listened to a futurist describe how dramatically different your world will be in just a few short years? Or discovered that some of those amazing ‘future states’ were already here?

Star Trek and Star Wars fans know this experience intimately: with every story you expected to be transported to some setting that you knew you never could imagine. Real fans can recount episode after episode, still taking delight in the discovery.

That’s what I now think about when I hear the phrase, ‘beyond imagination.’

It may start in your eyes and ears and head as you take it all in, but it settles in you gut as an emotional reaction takes over. That’s beyond imagination!

Can you take your customers beyond imagination?

What happens when your customer has an experience that is beyond imagination?

• They keep thinking about it, and not just in their head; they continue to feel the experience over and over.

• They look for others with whom they can share the experience; sometimes they become your best advocates, what Michael Cowen at Ravetopia refers to as raving fans who become agents of word of mouth marketing.

• They immediately think about you whenever a competitor even begins to present an alternative option.

Not a bad place to be, huh?

So when was the last time someone took you beyond imagination?

How did they define a new standard and reset the stage for how you benchmark the products and services you receive?

The key is to reconnect with that moment of discovery. It’s one step, but a big one, toward finding a place that is beyond imagination.

BestCustomerConnection, by Marc Sokol

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Marc Sokol
A psychologist with an eye for the ways organizational dynamics make it possible or impossible to delight customers, I see the world from the eyes of customers, employees and leaders who strive to transform customer experience.

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