5 Lessons Geocaching Can Teach Us

Geocaching has given me a new perspective on promoting change. 

Geo – whatting? What is Geocaching? Well, according to Geocaching.com:

Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.  (Guide to the Game)

Ok, so, a modern-day treasure hunt. But what can that teach us about promoting your change program?

1)  Anyone can do it – It’s fun. Anyone can hide a geocache. Or look for one.

The lesson here is – anyone can help promote your change. Yes, you still want to go after the big guns with “C’s” in their title, but don’t overlook ways to engage the feet on the street and the power of the masses singing your program’s praises.

2) Hiding in plain sight– Looking for a really hard geocache can be infuriating. You know it’s there according to the GPS coordinates, but you just can’t see it … until, then you do all of a sudden.

Likewise, ancillary benefits to your business change are probably hiding in plain sight. They are just waiting for someone to come along and uncover them and spell it out for others to see.

3) The path may be blocked – Yes, there’s always the geocache that someone took. Or wasn’t sealed well by the last person who found it so it got wet in that last rain storm. Or the conditions at the site may have changed (e.g. tree fell down). Sigh, then set your sights on the next one.

When helping a business make a change, there will always be the party-pooper, doom & gloom crowd nay-saying your benefits and trying to crush the change. Listen to see if you can glean something helpful from the barrage and then move on.

4) Someone can point you in the right direction, but you have to cross the finish line – The GPS coordinates get you in the general area, then you have to finish the hunt on your own.

With your change program, the business case probably gave you some good pieces of info to start, number of $$$ projected to be saved or % increases in revenue, but then you usually have to do the hard work of turning that info into the direct messages per stakeholder and building the WWIFM (What’s in it for me?)

5) Share your success – When you find the geocache, folks do everything from sign the log book / post a picture of themselves on the geocaching site (a modern-day “Kilroy was here.”) / blog about their experience / leave hints for the next person.

So as your change program starts to realize its ROI or demonstrate increased sales or find a customer following, be sure to share it. Publically, not just the clapping in your head.

Until next time … wishing you business readiness success!

Kirsten Jordan is a Partner at PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @Kirstenkbdb.