Ever wonder why The Disney Corporation is consistently ranked as one of the most admired companies by the public and respected as a solid performer on the NASDAQ?
As a regular Disney customer (parks and products) I am very familiar with their dedication to service and delivering the best possible experience with every visit to their properties or purchase of a movie ticket.
I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how Disney creates the magic. So I looked into attending some programs put on by the Disney Institute in Orlando. I was pleased to discover that the Disney Institute team was putting on training in conjunction with Niagara College, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.
So a couple of weeks ago, a few colleagues and I attended a 2-day training program focused on Leadership Excellence and Quality Service at the Prince of Wales.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement! The 48 hour immersion into the Disney culture was eye opening and transformative. Not only was the training of the Disney approach to “Magic Making” informative but as usual, the facilitators Jeff and Ernesto, imparted their expertise and experience with the usual Disney attention to detail and professionalism.
While respecting Disney’s copyright to their proprietary content, here are some key takeaways. Note that some of these you may have heard before but Disney practices in such a way, that it becomes infectious.
- Staff and customers will judge and ultimately trust you based on your actions, not your intentions or beliefs.
- To influence change, a leader must be involved (as Walt practiced in the park and studio daily). He or she practices leadership by walking around.
- Treat your staff and suppliers as well as you treat your customers so they feel valued and reflect that in their roles and responsibilities. Customers notice it and keep coming back for more.
- Very much like Anthony Robins refers to in his break- through book “Awaken The Giant Within”; always practice “CANI” – Consistent and Never-ending Improvement.
- Empower your team (in Disney Parks case, the CAST) to make decisions autonomously based on your companies guiding principles.
- Involve all levels of staff in policy and procedures to ensure buy in and best practices that are practical at every level.
- Seek to deliver little Wows on a daily basis.
For any of you who have management or leadership roles and seek to raise your company to Disney standards of excellence and respect, I would recommend you look at the Disney Institute. http://disneyinstitute.com/
If your budget doesn’t allow for you to exploree a Disney Institute training session in the near future, do yourself a favor. Pick up and read a copy of “Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerel, former Executive VP of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort. It’s Brilliant and is the foundation for much of the DI’s training!