We don’t pick life’s challenges; challenges pick us. We pick how we respond. We selected a senior executive from Lowe’s at random upon meeting the team. We isolated Kevin from the rest of his team and their activity and asked him to pedal on a stationary bike for one minute – giving it what he could. While Kevin responded to the awkwardness of this request with the upmost grace and cooperation, we believed that he was likely not really trying his hardest, pushing himself to his limits. Roughly 15 minutes later, we asked Kevin to get back on the bike again. This time, however, his community was there to cheer and rally him on. With the help of wristbands, headbands, pom-poms, both well- and slightly poorly-executed cheers, hoots and hollers and the eye-to-eye support of a new friend in Mike Thompson that knows how to fight when your body doesn’t want to, he definitely did not hold back this time. In fact, he managed to cover nearly 60% more distance! While this was just a fun experiment to demonstrate the power of community, it is very consistent with results from other substantiated research. For instance, cancer survival rates are reported to improve by as much as 66% with strong social support.
Now, I know you are thinking – a $50B+ company came to an Austin-based start-up for inspiration!?!? Yes, indeed. And, trust me, our first thought was not to demonstrate the power of community but to pitch exactly how we could engage and connect each and every one of the Lowe’s customer communities! However, that was not the intention of their visit, and we honored that. We applaud Lowe’s Home Improvement for truly living by their motto of Never Stop Improving and having the humility and open-mindedness to explore new ideas and approaches from uncommon places. And to thank Kevin for being such a good sport. We also want to recognize the creativity of NowPlusOne who curates these Insight Immersions. Demonstrating our own culture, passion and insight in this new way made us a better company and we thank you for that.