As part of the research for the book on more strategic content marketing I co-wrote pre-pandemic, I spoke to Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore. They are the co-authors of the Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage (1999). Their business theory had been cited by a number of those I had spoken to about how the late Clayton Christensen’s jobs-to-be-done framework for better understanding customer behaviour might help join the dots between not only how to develop better and more innovative products, but also take them to market (see more here and here).
The conversation with Joe and Jim became the basis for a whole chapter and I was particularly interested in the ideas they had been developing with Dave Norton around designing for space and time, and that being about making it worth people’s time.
As I have moved into the smart building space, I have wondered whether their ideas about ‘work being theater and every business a stage’ could be linked to the talk about the Rise of the Destination-worthy/Hospitality-influenced Workplace aka the ‘Hospitalitization of the WorkPlace.’ And talk of that being linked to post-pandemic back to office challenges, e.g. this recent article on how Developers look to hospitality and experience providers to enhance commercial assets by John Preece at Hub Australia.
I contacted Joe to find out whether this was something he was looking into or had registered on his radar. It turns out he’d already written a white paper on staging workplace experiences with technology specialists HqO (see here and also their interviews with him here and here).
Interestingly, HqO acquired Leesman last year, arguably the leader in measuring employee workplace experience. I mentioned Leesman in an earlier post because I was particularly struck by the lean start-up framing of the minimum viable office concept that was presented by their deputy CEO at a recent IWBI Regional Summit in London (see more here).
I hope to speak to one of the Leesman team about this and more as part of new podcast series, including if and how Joe and Jim’s experience economy thinking could play a part in the designing of workplace experience and particularly the role of transformation.
In the meantime, here some other resources Joe shared with me including this HBR article on ‘Genius Platforms’ with Dave Norton from earlier this year that he thinks is relevant (Are Your Digital Platforms Wasting Your Customers’ Time?).
There’s also this one from last year with Jim Gilmore on Employment as Transformation about the need to ‘ditch the outdated view of work as transactional and focus on the transformational’ that might also be of interest.
And lastly this paper on Embracing the Employee Experience where Joe explores why employee engagement is the new competitive differentiator in today’s experience economy in a paper for Rightpoint.