Sustaining Transformation

When trying to create positive behaviors, ecstatic positive transformation is usually not that hard of an event to create.  It can happen in an instant at a religious ceremony, a self-help workshop, a music festival, a New Year’s party (“This year, I’m definitely going to quit smoking!”), a university classroom…even at a gym workout session.

These moments are powerful, visceral and life-changing.

The question is, how can we sustain those transformations?  And even more important, how can we share and inspire others to undergo the same transformation?

Because we all know what happens after corporate retreats, or self-help workshops, or New Year’s resolution declarations…

They go kaput.

According to corporate consultant Tom Connellan, 25% of New Year’s resolutions are forgotten in the first week, and by the end of the year — a whopping 88% are abandoned!

Again, transformation is not the problem.

Sustaining it IS!

In recent weeks, as we’ve been demo-ing the new Nuvana MVP, many have been telling us that the ability to sustain behavioral transformation is a particular strength of our platform.  That by socially-networking a transformation community in a gamified context, the MVP sustains new positive behaviors, even when the behavior is difficult, or on it’s own, not particularly pleasurable (i.e. quitting smoking, breaking obesity habits, going to school, working harder, overcoming fear).  The context of the game PLUS actions witnessed by the social network of the transformation community results in an overall pleasurable experience that drives the player to repeat the effort.

What is a transformation community?  Well, the more we talk to folk, the more it seems just about any community of positive practice is aiming itself at transformation.  Learning communities (i.e. schools, universities, research orgs), for-profit and non-profit businesses looking to improve their methods and attract more customers, health organizations trying to re-vamp behaviors, event organizers looking to grow and impact — they are ALL in the business of transformation, either of their cohorts or constituents.

One organizer we’ve been talking to is well-known for the collective intellectual epiphanies they generate at their exclusive workshop event that borders on the ecstatic.  Attendees return to their workplace full of energy, ideas and inspiration, but are unable to share what they’ve learned with co-workers who did not attend.  With the Nuvana MVP, not only can these “evangelists” share their experience, even while they’re attending the event, but they can also collaborate with other attendees who they normally would lose contact with, long after the event is over, no matter what the physical distance — resulting in deeper investigation of issues, the sharing of best practices, seeding real world impacts, drawing in like-minded supporters, all while creating compelling testimonial content for the original organizer.

We’ll be gathering data on the effectiveness of our tool in different contexts, but initial indicators are very positive.  Stay tuned for case studies.

—  JvK

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