Ryan’s Theory of Emotional Return

Albert Einstein created one of the world’s most important and enduring formula’s with E=MC2. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. It opened up physicist’s thinking to the way the universe works. I too have created a formula but with a manifestly more humble goal.

My formula is designed to get retailers to think about the power of emotional return. The formula is quite simple.

JOY (Emotional Return) equals Effort times Result divided by Capability.

This epiphany came to me while strangely enough watching Tiger Woods NOT win the United States PGA Golf Championship. Watching Tiger is always a great learning experience. You see he puts in the same amount of effort as anyone else on the day, chasing the same result. Because of his skill level – his capability – he expects to win and therefore his joy (emotional return) is lower than say Y.E. Yang, who positively exploded with JOY upon beating Tiger. When Tiger wins he is happy but not overcome with JOY. It is about degrees of emotional return.

Why is this important?

Two reasons. Firstly, retail needs to concentrate on finding demonstrable avenues to add value for customers where they have the lowest capability of achieving the desired outcome on their own. This heightens the JOY and emotionally bonds them to the retail business as they clearly experience the highest emotional adrenaline rush.

And secondly with our staff, we need to understand that as their capability to do a task increases, the JOY they feel at achieving an outcome diminishes. In order to keep the feeling of JOY at its highest we need to continually lift the bar or their energy level will drop off.

Increasingly emotional return dictates customer and staff motivational energy and behaviour. There is a clear and unequivocal link between JOY and success and a much higher correlation between JOY and contribution to productivity gain than there is to monetary reward.

Emotional Returns mean Business Returns.