Designing Transformative Experiences: A Toolkit for Leaders, Trainers, Teachers, and other Experience Designers

  • 9h 48m 30s
  • Brad McLain
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2023

Offering a new lens on leadership and living, this research-based guide shows how to design experiences that can touch hearts, provoke minds, and change lives in powerful ways.

Transformative experiences are life events that change our sense of self in important ways. How do they work? What elements do they require? How can we learn to design them intentionally?

By embracing the research-based approach of ELVIS (the Experiential Learning Variables and Indicators System), this book details how to recast yourself as an Experience Design Leader, one that can provide those in your organization with the opportunities needed to reflect and grow as individuals.

Beginning with the ELVIS Framework, you will gain deep foundational insight into how transformative experiences work. And then with the ELVIS Toolkit, which includes seven practical design elements, you will have the key to unlocking these powerful experiences for yourself and others.

Whether you are new to the idea of designing experiences for others or are a seasoned veteran, ELVIS shows you how to tap into the psychology operating behind the most powerful and important experiences of our lives-those that shape who we are.

About the Author

Brad McLain, PhD, is a social scientist interested in the nature and psychology of transformative experiences, identity development, and leadership. He is the Director of Corporate Research at the National Center for Women and IT (NCWIT) where he routinely works closely with companies including Apple, Intel, Facebook, Google, and dozens of others. He is also the Director of the Center for STEM Learning at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has served on the Board of Directors for the Jane Goodall Institute, and chairs Dr. Goodall's Roots&Shoots educational program national leadership committee. His TEDx and TEDx Youth talks, podcasts, and other work can be found online.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction: The Nature of Transformative Experiences
  • Chapter 1 - ELVIS Overview
  • Chapter 2 - This May Hurt a Bit: Seeking Discomfort Zone Experiences
  • Chapter 3 - Storifying Our Lives: Harnessing How We Translate Experience into Narrative
  • Chapter 4 - Identity Construction Deconstructed: How Our Sense of Self Drives Transformation
  • Chapter 5 - Transformative Experience Design Strategies
  • Chapter 6 - Risk: Strategies Using Risk’s Many Disguises and Hidden Transformative Powers
  • Chapter 7 - Control: Who Has It, How to Strategically Give It Away, and Why
  • Chapter 8 - Immersion: Multisensory and Imaginative Design Strategies
  • Chapter 9 - Social and Emotional Involvement: Collaboration and Isolation Pathways to Greater Experiential Depth and Discovery
  • Chapter 10 - Intellectual Challenge: Activating Curiosity and Problem Solving
  • Chapter 11 - Identity Matters: Integrating Our Uniqueness and Avoiding One-Size-Fits-All Traps
  • Chapter 12 - Meaning Making: Forging Personal Relevance and Designing to Support That Process
  • Chapter 13 - The Holistic ELVIS
  • Conclusion: Endings