A psychologist studying the meaning of dreams could have a field day with me. Last night brought a doozy: I was in the market for some furniture, and decided to go to Ethan Allen (which meant it had to be a dream; in real life the store is too spendy for me).
When I walked through the doors, instead of finding the quietly tasteful environment I expected, I discovered a theme park. To ascend to the upper floors, you climbed onto a zany human conveyer belt. The only option for going down was to take a swirling metal slide. On the roof was an enormous grassy area with the following: A carnival complete with ferris wheel and carousel. A Texas-style barbecue restaurant. Horseback riding. An elegant garden party.
I remembered that in a few minutes I was scheduled to meet with my colleague Cheryl Ross. So I called her.
“Where are you?” I asked her.
“I’m at this fabulous store,” Cheryl said. “It’s fascinating—like an amusement park!”
I naturally thought she was also at Ethan Allen, but it turned out she was across town at The Children’s Place, which had similar entertainments.
“Is this a trend?” I asked Cheryl.
“I hope so,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be great if every store was this much fun?”
Then I woke up. And remembered that yesterday I had a conversation with a client about making communication more amusing. “I’d like our employees to come to our intranet site and actually like the experience,” he said. “Internal communication shouldn’t feel like an obligation. It should be interesting, illuminating—even enjoyable.”
That’s my dream, too. Maybe you can’t construct a three-story spiral slide, but you can build a little fun into your communication.