SKF Day_October 25 2013 417Helping organizations visualize—and realize—their ideal customer experience is something we do in our work every day. And, on occasion, we conduct creative workshops to help steer organizations through that process.

For the past two years we’ve been fortunate to have SickKids Foundation as a client. And we recently had the opportunity to facilitate an Engagement Day for the foundation’s employees. The goal: to help the organization envision the ideal future donor experience for SKF and its donors.

To prepare for the day, planned in conjunction with foundation staff, our team crafted a series of interactive activities for attendees, each of which was designed to engage staff and view the donor experience in a new light.

Before coming to the event, held at the Toronto Reference Library, attendees were asked to complete a Heart, Hand and Mind exercise designed to get them thinking about the donor experience from different angles and perspectives and to help them understand how each is significant.  For instance; what makes the ideal donor experience emotionally engaging? What makes the experience easy to engage in? What rational needs does the experience satisfy?

To help attendees further understand the motivations and barriers donors might face, our team created a series of donor personas which were distributed throughout the room on donor trading cards that described a variety of donors at a different stages of the donor journey. By putting themselves in the donor’s shoes, each group was challenged to identify their goals and objectives and the feelings they might experience along the way.

In addition to presentations by our team, SKF President and CEO Ted Garrard, and guest speaker Lisa Lisson, President of FedEx Canada, attendees also heard from a panel of five SKF donors who shared their best and most frustrating experiences as a donor, personal examples illustrating how they know their gifts have made a difference, and what, if anything, they would change about their relationship with SickKids.

To round out the morning session, our team encouraged group members to share what they learned from the panel discussion that they hadn’t appreciated beforehand.  Based on this input, our team created a vision statement of the ideal future state.

Following a lunch break, groups were then asked to identify how their teams could contribute to the vision and to identify specific goals to be achieved by their team within the next 12 months. At the end of the day, each team within the organization had compiled a list of goals to be vetted and synthesized into a coherent a roadmap for the foundation.

Finally, to capture the input and discussions, we had graphic illustrators Kathryn Maxfield and Shannon Loomer of thinkbank, each create three 4×8 murals depicting the themes that emerged throughout day.

Not a bad day’s work—and for a great cause!