RSPA Recommended Read: The Power of Moments

“RSPA Recommended Read” is a series of articles in which RSPA staff members share details from books we think would be helpful to leaders and aspiring leaders at VAR, MSP, ISV, and vendor member organizations.

By: Jim Roddy, VP of Sales & Marketing at the RSPA

Why was the late-August RSPA Academy Education Symposium so well received by the hundreds of channel executives who attended? The reason goes beyond the education tracks, topics, and speakers. The Symposium was a special moment created for VARs, ISVs, and vendors who were craving both community engagement and a change of pace from our regrettable new normal.

As our RSPA team planned for the Symposium, I thought of the book The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Dan and Chip Heath (the latter a former RSPA Inspire keynote speaker). With trade shows and partner conferences on ice since March, our work lives have lacked “peak moments” the Heaths describe in their book. For example, I don’t recall much of what happened last Monday, but I’ll run out of fingers counting the moments I still remember from the 2006 RSPA Winter Conference in Jamaica. I can still visualize the open forum discussion about creating an industry association, the setup of the villas where we stayed, and the electric golf carts we buzzed around on at the Half Moon Resort. And (for some reason) I can still hear former APG Cash Drawer President Mark Olson reciting his favorite limericks.

How can what happened a few days back slip my mind while something from 14½ years ago can still be burned in my brain? That’s the power of moments. Before we learn more from the book, let me share 18 insightful passages:

  1. Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.
  2. When we assess our experiences, we don’t average our minute-by-minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments: the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.
  3. We must learn to think in moments, to spot the occasions that are worthy of investment, to recognize where the prose of life needs punctuation.
  4. The surprise about great service experiences is that they are mostly forgettable and occasionally remarkable. Example: Magic Castle Hotel has small swimming pools, underwhelming décor … and a Popsicle Hotline.
  5. Every great service company is a master of service recovery. They transform a negative moment to a positive one.
  6. “Mostly forgettable” is actually a desirable state in many businesses. It means nothing went wrong. You got what you expected. Think of “mostly forgettable” as only the first stage of a successful customer experience.
  7. To create fans, you need the remarkable, and that requires peaks. Peaks don’t emerge naturally. They must be built.
  8. Breaking the Script: Defying people’s expectations of how an experience will unfold. Breaking the script isn’t just surprise, it’s strategic surprise.
  9. Moment of Insight: This three-part recipe — [1] a clear insight [2] compressed in time and [3] discovered by the audience itself – provides a blueprint for us when we want people to confront uncomfortable truths.
  10. Dramatize the problems. Once the problems become vivid in the minds of the audience members, their thoughts will immediately turn to … solutions.

Visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

  1. Most employee recognition should be personal, not programmatic. What’s important is authenticity. And frequency: closer to weekly than yearly. And of course what’s most important is the message: “I saw what you did and I appreciate it.”
  2. Donors who receive thank-you letters will make larger donations the next year.
  3. You can’t deliver a great customer experience without first delivering a great employee experience.
  4. Remote contact is perfectly suitable for day-to-day communication and collaboration. But a big moment needs to be shared in person.
  5. If you want to be part of a group that bonds like cement, take on a really demanding task that’s deeply meaningful.
  6. Relationships don’t proceed in steady, predictable increments.
  7. Relationships don’t deepen naturally. In the absence of action, they will stall.
  8. The charge for all of us: To defy the forgettable flatness of everyday work and life by creating a few precious moments.

RSPA Recommended Read Rating: 9.5/10

This book has been incredibly helpful to me as a manager, co-worker, writer, speaker, podcast host, moderator, event planner, neighbor, husband, father, customer – you name it. The lessons were impactful when I first read The Power of Moments in early 2018, and holy moly are they more important than ever as we navigate through this is-it-Friday-or-Thursday-oh-my-gosh-it’s-Tuesday COVID crisis fatigue.

Instead of me penning a few more paragraphs about the book, I’ll attempt to create a moment for you – and Mark Olson – by closing with two limericks that tie the power of moments with the current state of our channel. (Note: This could be a peak moment or a pit; you be the judge.)

Been too long since I met a VAR,
Or drank at a show’s open bar.
I can’t wait to fret
About missing my jet
And stop living out of my car. 

I’ve spent too much time in my home,
And now I’m stuck writing this poem.
Peak moments are rare –
Someone please cut my hair!
This road warrior can’t wait to roam.

Purchase your copy of The Power of Moments here. And, since you’re a click away from your email, please create a moment for me by dropping a line to say if you feel these limericks were a peak or a pit.

Don’t forget to visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

Jim Roddy is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as an RSPA board member, one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board, and several years as a business coach for VARs, ISVs, and MSPs. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer. For more information, contact