How to Create Moments That Matter

I just finished reading Chip and Dan Heath’s latest release ‘The Power of Moments’ – and in light of the new year before us, Canadian agriculture might ask the same question they did: “How can we fight [this] flatness and make moments that matter?”

In other words, how will your words make an impact? How will you connect with your consumer audience? How will you fight the flatness that is myths and alternate facts to create farm to consumer moments that matter?

Over the past few years, the Farmer’s Survival Guide has written a lot about the science behind how people react to and act upon information they receive – from how to get people attuned to your messages (and how you can be better attuned to their questions and concerns) to the science behind changing someone’s opinion; from how to argue intelligently to the elements that make up a compelling story; and how to use the Ladder of Abstraction to stimulate more comprehensive and holistic understanding. We’ve even written about how using some of President Trump’s communication tactics can help further constructive dialogue.

While it’s important to understand the ‘how’ behind message development (how people receive, register, and act upon what you’re sharing with them) to ensure your efforts garner the highest ROI, the Heath brothers write that defining moments are made up of four critical elements:

  • Elevation: Defining moments must rise above the everyday. Moments of elevation transcend the normal course of events. [i]
  • Insight: Defining moments rewire our understanding of ourselves or the world. And although these moments of insight often seem serendipitous, we can engineer them – or at the very least, lay the groundwork.
  • Pride: Defining moments capture us at our best – moments of achievement, moments of courage. To create such moments, we need to understand something about the architecture of pride – how to plan for a series of milestone moments that build on each other en route to a larger goal.
  • Connection: Defining moments are social. These moments are strengthened because we share them with others. What triggers moments of connection?

Farmers can create elevated moments by sharing their lives with others – either online via social media or in real-time during farm visits. Since 98% of the population are non-farmers, a farm experience would be outside the ordinary. This idea also ties in to the element of Connection since these experiences are inherently social in nature as well as a way to trigger connections, one real person to another.

By practising critical thinking, shoshin, and by being aware of the Curse of Knowledge, farmers can help others gain insight into the world of agriculture and lay the groundwork for constructive dialogue by developing messages that resonate.

And farmers are nothing if not proud. Speaking about your profession with pride and passion is infectious; you will intrigue others to want to know more. It’s not fair to say we work harder than anyone else (after all, everyone’s experience is subjective and most of us consider ourselves hard workers), but you should be proud about your skills, knowledge, and profession and use each opportunity to share your story as a building block to reach your communication goals.

“If we want more moments of connection, we need to be more responsive to others…Relationships don’t proceed in steady, predictable increments. There’s no guarantee that they will deepen with time… What we’ll see is that, if we can create the right kind of moment, relationships can change in an instant.”

How will you create moments that matter this year – moments that will define your industry, catalyze your impact, and ensure your messages resonate with your consumer audience? Tell us your ideas and goals using the hashtag #ImpactMoments2018; we’d love to share them to help others intrigue, resonate, and nurture their farm to consumer conversations.


[i] All text in the four bullet points: “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact”, Chip and Dan Heath, Simon & Schuster, 2017

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