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Club100 things you can learn from DISNEY Making your business Fast+SimpleTM for your customers A Budd Fast+Simple white paper 100 things you can learn from DISNEY August 2008 1 ©BUDD UK LTD 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Title Authors Publication Date Version Publisher Address Web 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Peter Massey, Chang Xu 28 August 2008 0. 2 Budd UK Limited 8 Percy Street, London W1T 1DJ www. budd. uk. com © 2008 Budd UK Ltd All rights reserved.

The copyright in and title to the report ‘100 things you can learn from DISNEY’ belongs solely to Budd UK Limited. No part of it whatsoever may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying without the prior authority of Budd UK Limited. Any agreed copy must be marked with all proprietary notices which appear on the original and will be subject to the requirement that you will acknowledge on the face of the reproduced material that it belongs to Budd UK Limited. ‘Fast+Simple’ is a trademark of Budd UK Limited.

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Budd acknowledges that the copyright for the graphics and information sourced from Walt Disney Internet Group sites is owned by or licensed to Disney. Disney did not sponsor or endorse this publication. DISNEY is a trademark of The Walt Disney Company 2 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY INTRODUCTION Be the best of the best – make it Fast+Simple We at Budd, describe our passion as ‘how do we stop doing dumb things to customers and people? ’ We describe what customers want as a “fast and simple” experience. Making it easy for customers to do business with you and stay loyal.

Brilliant basics consistently communicated and acted upon In our experience, we know that one of the most critical success factors in creating Fast+Simple experiences for customers is the ability of a business to “close the loop”. That means listening to what customers are saying (or WOCAS1), being able to take customer feedback and drive systematic actions across the organisation on a consistent daily basis. It means engaging business heads and project managers to deliver targeted change projects and prioritised improvements to operational processes.

It means daily brilliant basics. This is what it takes to eliminate the dumb things that frustrate customers and to drive faster responses to customers’ ideas. Dare to be different, dare to look at the business holistically All good operating models are holistic, holding together under the simple scrutiny of staff and customers alike. As the president of Toyota said about his operating model “What is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practised every day in a very consistent manner – not in spurts –but in a concrete way on the shop floor. This is the mindset that executives need if their business is to be truly customer centric – you can discover how to put it into practice in the book “The Best Service is No Service” written by our LimeBridge colleagues, Bill Price and David Jaffe. For more on this new book, see www. budd. uk. com/thebestservice. html. Customer experience design starts at the top In Budd’s “100 Things you can learn from…” series of whitepapers, we aim to provide insights into companies who are acknowledged leaders in making it easy for their customers to do business with them.

Obviously no single thing makes the difference. A common characteristic, however, is the exceptional involvement of top management in building a customer-focused business culture. Leadership excellence, in terms of creating a ‘customer service’ culture is the primary driver for success. We’ve seen this thinking in other acknowledged leaders, such as first direct and Amazon2. Disney understands that too: leaders are judged (by their colleagues and staff alike) on the values they demonstrate and the way they behave in the business. Successful organisational behaviour has to be driven from the top.

Founder Walt Disney had an exceptional focus on doing things for customers), and this philosophy continues to underpin Disney’s corporate behaviour. Everything Walt Disney did was done with the “guests” in mind. Today his parks boasts of more than 70% repeat visitation and his hotels, more than 90% occupancy. 1 2 Learn more about “What our customers are saying”, at WOCAS Read other whitepapers in the “100 things you can learn from…” series, at Budd Life 3 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY The keys to success at Disney A cornerstone of the Walt Disney philisophy is that you are in business to benefit your customers. You don’t build it for yourself,” Walt Disney explained. “You know what the people want and you build it for them. ” From the company’s inception, this visionary founder put people in the driving seat. He vetoed the plans for an administrative building at Disneyland because he wanted his executives to get out from behind their desks to share the guests’ experience. “Stand in line with the people,” Walt ordered. “You eat at the park and listen to people! ” Walt Disney’s vision and principles live on in everyone at the company, from the leaders to the employees cleaning the streets.

Disney management knows that the company is not just selling one off moments of happiness. It’s designing and building lifetime relationships and valued interactions with customers as an ongoing experience. A keystone of loyalty for every organisation is the moment of interaction between frontline staff and customers. Disney categorises these ‘moment of truth’ as either ‘Magic Moments’ or ‘Tragic Moments’. Even at times of service failure, Disney understands how to turn tragic to magic by personalising the recovery process. Disney people listen ard to what customers are saying – in order to tailor the experience to what their customers need, and thus build an emotional connection to the brand. For Disney, listening to customers is not about ‘one off’ moments of truth, it is ongoing engagement between management, staff and customers. Disney is both high tech and high touch. In Disney’s Four Fundamentals (in order) treating customers as people, it sees the 1. Leadership excellence connection between building relationships, 2. Cast excellence aligning brand with individual identity and 3. Guest satisfaction producing an experience that delivers superior 4.

Financial results and repeat business value. At moments of interaction, the customer Source : Disney Institute is always ‘centre stage’ – but there is also emphasis on leaders and managers developing a collaborative culture for care of employees. Staff doing the right things for customers is heavily integrated with the company doing the right things for staff. So what can you get from this ‘100 things you can learn about Disney’ paper? As part of sharing best practice in customer service excellence, Budd has carried out research from a wealth of published sources relating to Disney.

We’d like to thank everyone who helped, directly or indirectly. Whether it is one or 100 things, ‘making dreams come true for customers’ does not happen by chance. What makes the difference at Disney is the company’s rigorous application of ‘brilliant basics’, a capacity for integrated communication and experience design, and an ability to see business life from the customers’ perspective. We hope our research stimulates you to dig further – and to challenge yourselves and your business to implement changes as a result.

And we hope you’ll talk to us about what you learn, what you would change and how we can help you – feedback please! 4 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY CONTENTS The 100 things you should know are captured in the links below: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Introduction At a glance – a summary of the points Walt Disney’s philosophy Leadership Quality culture Casting (hiring) Training & inspiring the passion Empowering & making magic Encouraging creativity Be our guest Communication: share the dreams Support, develop & reward cast members (employees) So what did you learn from Disney?

References About Budd Budd is a leading edge specialist in customer management – how customer feedback can redesign businesses and make them provide Fast+Simple experience in sales and service. We work from strategy to operational delivery, from research to coaching, and in many countries through our international alliance, LimeBridge, www. limebridge. com. You can learn more about Budd, our work, processes and clients at www. budd. uk. com. Contact us if you’d like to discuss any of the points in the white paper or go into more detail. We couldn’t distil everything into one document!

And we make no apologies for certain overlaps for emphasis in the 100 points. 7 things you should know about Disney Disneyland Theme Park opened in 1955; Disney World opened in 1971. The Walt Disney Company employs 130,000 people, has annual revenue of $35,510 million—of which parks and resorts has generated $10,626 million. The Magic Kingdom employs more than 61,000 cast members, spends more than $1. 1 billion on payroll and $478 million on benefits each year. Disney is similar to your business in three ways: o o o Profit driven Deals with real business issues Faces serious competition

Disney Parks and Resorts has achieved more than 70% repeat visitation and more than 90% hotel occupancy as well as low employee turnover Disney is ranked 9th in BusinessWeek’s 2007 Top Global Brands Sources : Annual Report, Disney Institute, Wikipedia, BusinessWeek, Datamonitor 5 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY AT A GLANCE For a fuller explanation of the points, read the main body of the white paper. WALT DISNEY’S PHILOSOPHY Selling happiness 1) “We create happiness, by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere. 2) “We communicate happiness not only to our guests but to each other. ” Get Inducted… Disney-Speak! Cast members Guests On-stage Backstage Casting Centre Employees Customers All of the activities visited by guests Behind-the-scenes areas Human Resources Making dreams come true Cast for a role Hired for a job 3) “I dream, I test my dreams Costumes Uniforms against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my Attractions Theme park rides and shows vision to make those dreams Everything and everyone that come true. ” interfaces with guests, including 4) “You don’t build it for yourself.

The Show entertainment, the park, and cast You know what the people members. want and you build it for them. ” 3 A frontline cast member who Hosts / 5) “Get a good idea and stay supports guests’ experiences Hostesses through contact in the show with it. Dog it, and work it until it’s done and done right. ” 4 6) Secret of making dreams come true: Four C’s—Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy. 7) “Courage is the main quality of leadership, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk—especially in new undertakings. ” Valuing people 8) “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world.

But it takes people to make the dream a reality. ” 9) “Stand in line with the people. You eat at the park and listen to people! ” Walt Disney was a fanatic about providing a consistent, quality show and would visit the park every weekend and ride every ride. LEADERSHIP Four fundamentals that keep Disney ahead of its competitors: 10) Leadership excellence 11) Cast excellence 12) Guest satisfaction 13) Financial results and repeat business 14) Take the time to hire good leaders who can combine ordinary resources into extraordinary results. 15) Every leader is telling a story about what he or she values.

We judge ourselves based on our intentions; others judge us based on our behaviours. 16) A leader has to “get others involved in your vision. ” 17) Lead by example: who we are as people matters as much as what we do. 3 4 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 6 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY 18) All cast members, from vice presidents and directors on down, have to spend an afternoon as a Disney character. 19) Management by walking around. Line supervisors spend 80% of their time walking through their areas and talking to their employees. 0) The leader’s role is to relay information back to the frontline cast members, who can make on-the-spot adjustments for continuous improvement of both product and service. 21) Open-door policy – makes meetings less autocratic, encourage conversation. 22) Take a long-term view, create the best guest experience and exceed expectations – invest to prevent complaints. 23) More is accomplished out of commitment than compliance and that philosophy comes from the top down. QUALITY CULTURE 24) What makes the difference is Disney’s attention to detail, consistency, and drive to constantly exceed expectations. 5) “If you’re making a product, make the best product possible. If you’re providing a service, provide the best possible service. If you’re coaching a team, be the best coach you can be. ” 26) Quality service is a series of behaviours exhibited by cast members in the presence of guests: smiling, making eye contact, using pleasant phrases, performing their role functions, and implementing the many other details that add up to the “personal touch” in the eyes of guests. 27) Three reprimands results in a cast member being fired; three violations nullify a supplier’s contract. 8) Quality needs to be where the guest can touch, feel, or sense it; quality does not mean perfection. 29) To the degree that an environment can be controlled, the appropriate reactions of people within that environment can be predicted. 30) The experience of the guest, as well as the experience of the cast, is orchestrated to be as positive as possible. 31) Beyond just smiling, courteous employees, equally important are the numerous support systems that enable the employee to perform. CASTING (HIRING) 32) Hire friendly people who will in turn be friendly to the guests. 3) Beyond the conventional routes of advertising, high school recruiting, job fairs and employee referrals, Disney identifies potential future employees through its College Programme, internship programs for professional positions, and Project Future. 34) Engaging Generation Y, Disney strives to expose people to its leadership. 35) Disney leverages technology, engaging the current generation through online communities, such as MySpace and LinkedIn. 36) The casting process itself is a process of entertainment. 37) Applicants learn Disney’s principles immediately and must pass the rigorous hiring standards. ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY TRAINING & INSPIRING THE PASSION 38) Extend the concept of show business throughout the culture to help attain the “buy in” of the cast. 39) Training setting communicates visually Disney philosophy and tradition. 40) Disney looks at all jobs as equally important, so a laundry host or hostess goes through most of the same training that a manager does. 41) At the core of Disney’s internal training are “Storytelling” and the “Traditions”, through which new cast members learn about Disney’s history. 2) Training employs symbolism, such as inspirational films, hearty pep talks, family imagery, exemplars of corporate performance, and the canonized founder in the corporate mythology. All cast members learn three magic imperatives: – Keep the park (your work area) clean – Create happiness (be pleasant and helpful to customers and co-workers) – Do your job 44) Orientation is conducted not by professional trainers, but from rank-and-file employees who relate their own real-life experiences working at Disney World and Disneyland, aiding the “buy-in” of new employees. 5) Teamwork is key, starting from a “teamwork quiz” during training, where they learn they are not competing but actually working together. 46) It is key that cast members understand how their roles fit the whole pie motivate them to think like customers from the start. EMPOWERING & MAKING MAGIC 47) “High-Tech” versus “High-Touch”… can’t force the personal touch. To obtain it, the company must go for the emotions in people to get them to “buy in” and play their role in the show. 8) Create a descriptive vision of the future, sell the vision to each member of the cast, get them excited about it, and follow through to ensure that each milestone is reached in a timely manner. 49) Cast members pepper their conversation with phrases like “making magic” for the guests and “sprinkling pixie dust”. 50) Pride in one’s organization can overcome apathy and minimum productivity. ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY 51) Leaders view all levels of employees as capable of taking a leadership role in coming up with and implementing creative ideas and solutions. 2) To keep the ideas flowing, all cast members must feel valued and motivated. 53) Run the Gong Show, a thrice-yearly in-house meeting where anyone who thinks he or she has a good idea can run it past top management, live and in person. 54) Implement an “I Have an Idea” suggestion program: awarded based on the amount of money saved. 43) 8 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY 55) Set up “Circles of Excellence” to meet regularly to address current or potential service challenges and come up with creative solutions. 6) Train cast members on the measurement processes for guest satisfaction so that, as problems arise, they know the procedure for identifying crucial guest issues, they know how to measure the problem, and they know how to arrive at effective solutions. 57) Have the proper systems in place to capture and implement the ideas whenever and wherever they occur. 58) Constantly challenge: “Where’s the Disney difference? ” “What makes it Disney? ” 59) Be there. 60) Be a nudge. 61) Be an idea generator. 62) The more entrepreneurial and creative the leaders the better, as long as they have some financial understanding. 63) Create a can-do culture.

BE OUR GUEST 64) Maximum loyalty results from the connection of Identity, Value, and Relationships. Superior Service 65) Disney recognizes that the common thread running through all it services is the ability to make guests happy. 66) Make sure cast members know the priorities and their order of importance: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. 67) Whatever business you’re in—it’s show business. 68) Disney executives also help keep the park clean. 69) Quality service means exceeding guest expectations and paying attention to detail. 70) Build emotion into the experience through magical moments and Take Fives. 1) Underpromise and overdeliver. 72) Plan ahead for customers – create a Fast Pass that entitles the holder to instant access to a ride later in the day. 73) Employees are customers, too – treat them well. 74) Expand the product to include the entire experience. Service Recovery 75) Every cast member knows that it is his or her responsibility to resolve any guestservice failure. 76) Push the power to solve problems down to the frontline cast. Provide staff with the freedom to provide guests with whatever they need to make their experience memorable. 77) It’s not our fault—but it is our problem. 78) Treat everyone as an individual. 9) Anticipate unhappiness so the show can go on. Know Thy Guest 80) Listen to your guests. 81) Importance of “Guestology”, known elsewhere as “consumer research”: the survey considered most important is the price/value survey taken as guests are exiting the theme parks. 9 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY COMMUNICATION: SHARE THE DREAM 82) Communicate not only news around the organization, but also the ideas, philosophies, and concepts. 83) Conduct company-wide opinion polls and systematically act on the information. 84) Utilise performance appraisals as a communication tool. 5) Disney uses communication to keep employees happy. 86) Management and staff are always on a first name basis. 87) Close the information loop and provide invaluable feedback to operational management. SUPPORT, DEVELOP AND REWARD CAST MEMBERS (EMPLOYEES) 88) The Cast Activities department provides a broad spectrum of recreational, social, cultural and special activities for employees and their families. 89) The staff at Disney University is concerned not only with an employee’s education and development but also with his or her motivation, morale, communication and physical working atmosphere. 0) “Cross-utilization” during the resort’s peak times. 91) Lateral moves within Disney are perceived as promotions and celebrated. 92) Training doesn’t stop after orientation; there’s a long list of programmes for cast members, including many classes that focus on developing skills. Numerous rewards and recognition programs: 93) Distinguished Service Awards Banquet 94) Attendance awards 95) Gold Dream Pin 96) Applause-O-Gram 97) Cast Member of the Month 98) Banker’s Club 99) Guest Service Fanatic 100) Disney offers numerous other benefits 10 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY

A. WALT DISNEY’S PHILOSOPHY Selling Happiness • Disney’s service theme: “We create happiness, by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere. ” “To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savour the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. ”5 “We are trying to sell happiness, something everyone wants.

You can call it popcorn or cotton candy, escape or anything you want, but to me, I’m selling happiness! We communicate happiness not only to our guests, but to each other. ” 6 • • Walt’s Business Philosophy “Quality will out! Give the people everything you can give them; Keep the place as clean as you can keep it; Keep it friendly; Make it a fun place to be. ” Source: Johnson. « A Strategy for Service—Disney Style » Making Dreams Come True • Explaining his success, Disney said “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true. 7 “You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them. ” 8 “Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work it until it’s done and done right. ” 9 “Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably. ” 10 • • • 5 6 Walt Disney Quotes. ” . Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 7 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 8 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 9 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 10 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 11 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY • “Courage is the main quality of leadership, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk—especially in new undertakings. ”11 Walt Disney didn’t hesitate to halt production on Snow White—almost completed in blackand-white—to start over and take advantage of new colour animation, at great expense. 2 “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. ”13 Epcot, a theme park based on technological wonders, would never be complete because technology keeps evolving. Disney deliberately left 22-carat gold leaf trim off one pillar of the Cinderella castle at The Magic Kingdom so that people would understand that Disneyworld would never be complete. 14 • Valuing People • “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality. 15 “If anybody gets highbrow around the studio—out he goes. ” 16 “Well, I think by this time my staff, my young group of executives, and everything else, are convinced that Walt is right. That quality will win out. And so I think they’re going to stay with that policy because it’s proved that it’s a good policy. Give the people everything you can give them. Keep the place as clean as you can keep it. Keep it friendly, you know. Make it a real fun place to be. I think they’re convinced and I think they’ll hang on after as you say…well…after Disney. 17 “The reason people have problems at work relates to their lack of skills to do their jobs the way they want to do them, in a manner that makes them feel good. ”18 Walt Disney was a fanatic about providing a consistent, quality show and would visit the park every weekend and ride every ride. 19 He vetoed plans for an administration building at Disneyland because he wanted his executives to get out from behind their desks and share the guests’ experience. “Stand in line with the people. ” Disney ordered. “You eat at the park and listen to people! ”20 • • • • 11 Disney Institute.

Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 13 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 14 Powell, Peter. “Disney Offers Contractors Advice. ” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Mar 2001, p. 10. 15 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 16 “Walt Disney Quotes. ” . 17 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 18 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 19 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. Training & Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 20 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. ” Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. 12 12 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY B. LEADERSHIP Four fundamentals that keep Disney ahead of its competitors: leadership excellence, cast excellence, guest satisfaction, and financial results and repeat business. “People may be surprised that we don’t always put our guests first, but we must accomplish the first two before our guests can achieve a level of satisfaction. ”21 “Take the time to hire good leaders.

They are the silver bullet. Without them you won’t get very far, no matter how talented the rest of the team is. ”22 Successful service results from solid leadership. The leader’s role is to combine ordinary resources into extraordinary results. Disney Institute Every leader is telling a story about what he or she values. We judge ourselves based on our intentions; others judge us based on our behaviours. Each leader contributes to a culture in their organization, either by design or default. Businesses are judged on behaviours which often start with the vision of the leader or owner. 3 The key to unlocking the future lies in first understanding the past. Before you visualize where you want to go, take a moment to think about where your organization, including your divisions and departments, has been, and its current status. 24 A leader has to “get others involved in your vision. ” That involves the “transfer of power and decision-making authority, providing ‘cast members’ with the opportunity for education, and allocating the appropriate resources to allow cast members to do their jobs. ”25 Ways to break the barriers can be resolved simply by asking questions, e. . ask the front line staff how to make things better and work better on the front line. By getting people involved, changes can begin to take place—even though changes can be painful, they are necessary and the Disney Company depends on feedback from cast members and guests to initiate change. 26 Lead by example: who we are as people matters as much as what we do. Our cast members look to senior managers as role models. So each one of us should live up to that expectation. 27 All cast members, from vice presidents and directors on down, have to spend an afternoon as a Disney character.

One such executive tells how in his stint as Goofy, he misjudged the length of his costume arms and downed a guest while trying to point directions. Fortunately, no harm was done. (He also says that you wouldn’t believe how hot and heavy the costumes are. ) 28 21 22 Lucas, Amy. “Disney Shares Definition of Excellence. ” Wearable Business, Mar 2007, p. 18. McGee, Regina. “Something Fishy at Disney. ” Association Meetings, 2005, pp. 12, 14. 23 Hall, John R. “Learning About Leadership—Disney Style. ” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Oct 2005, p. 32. 24 Powell, Peter. Disney Offers Contractors Advice. ” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Mar 2001, p. 10. 25 Powell, Peter. “Disney Offers Contractors Advice. ” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Mar 2001, p. 10. 26 Hall, John R. “Learning About Leadership—Disney Style. ” Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Oct 2005, p. 32. 27 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 13 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Management by walking around. Line supervisors spend 80% of their time walking through their areas and talking to their employees. 9 It’s these firsthand experiences that develop a sense of the need to react quickly to restore service when things go wrong. 30 Walking the front involves observing, gathering firsthand information, gauging guest reactions, and evaluating operational efficiencies. The leader’s role is to relay that Bob A. Iger, CEO information back to the frontline cast members, who can make on-the-spot adjustments and thus contribute to the continuous improvement of both product and service. 31 Open-door policy. To encourage his executives to drop by, Disney CEO Bob Iger installed a door to a more heavily trafficked hallway.

He moved studio chief Richard Cook up from the second floor to the sixth, where Iger has his office. Iger also made the Monday morning meetings less autocratic, encouraging conversation. Even his office is more inviting. Out went the drabness of the Eisner years. In came airiness, family photos, and a cigar store Indian Iger found in the basement of the ABC building in New York. He hangs his suit jacket on it. 32 Great leaders look for the better way…every day! Disney Institute Take a long-term view, create the best guest experience and exceed expectations.

An example: when guests at Disney’s Magic Kingdom complained they could not get around the daily parade to take advantage of shorter lines at some of the most popular rides, the company spent more than $26 million to build a bridge that circumvented the parade route. Looked at from a pure accounting perspective, it would probably have been impossible to realize an ROI from the expenditure. But Disney management knew that without the bridge, the number of complaints would only grow. So they rationalized the expense by taking a broader view of the situation, one that took long-term customer satisfaction into account.

Another example: after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Disney… made a commitment to not layoff any of its resort staff even as reservations and park revenue took a hit. “We get a lot more accomplished out of commitment than compliance and that philosophy comes from the top down. ” Jones says. 33 28 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 29 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 30 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 1 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training & Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 32 “How Bob Iger Unchained Disney. ” BusinessWeek. Feb 2007. . 33 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 14 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY C. QUALITY CULTURE Disney doesn’t necessarily offer attractions that are necessarily better than those offered by its competitors, what makes the difference is Disney’s attention to detail, consistency, and drive to constantly exceed expectations. 4 Success in business and life comes down to striving for excellence in everything you do. Product, or content, is the most important. “If you’re making a product, make the best product possible. If you’re providing a service, provide the best possible service. If you’re coaching a team, be the best coach you can be. ” Michael Eisner, Disney CEO from 1984 to 2005 advises. “At Disney, the first thing measured is the quality of the product and creativity of the content: How good is the show? How entertaining is the movie? How does the food taste? Focus maniacal attention on the product because a “hit” makes up for a lot of mistakes.

Creating a big hit is the best way to dig yourself out of any problem. ”35 Quality service is a series of behaviours exhibited by cast members in the presence of guests: smiling, making eye contact, using pleasant phrases, performing their role functions, and implementing the many other details that add up to the “personal touch” in the eyes of guests. 36 It includes everything from dealing with the public in the parks and hotels to how the audience enjoys the films, television programs, books, magazines, and Web sites. 37 Cast members that pass Traditions and get on the front line must strictly adhere or they are given reprimands.

Three reprimands in a year results in being shown the door. Similarly, outside suppliers are required to sign a contract outlining their commitment to the service standards, and if they are found to violate the standards on three occasions, the contract is void. 38 Quality needs to be where the guest can touch, feel, or sense it; quality does not mean perfection. Real gold leaf is used on the carousel horses, for example. But there are limits to quality, and a line is drawn that goes beyond the expectations of most of the guests, but not too far beyond.

Disney is in the business of creating illusions;39 Disney strives for magic, not perfection. 40 Even the setting itself conveys a message Disney Philosophy about the organization and its values and “You can’t change people, but if standards. At the core of the Disney you change the environment you philosophy is the belief that people (both can change their perception. ” guests and cast members) are products of Source : Kelly, « Learning from Walt Disney » their environment. To the degree that an environment can be controlled, the appropriate reactions of people within that environment can be predicted.

Disney, therefore, strives to control, within good business sense, as much of the environment at the resort as possible. 34 35 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 36 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 37 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 38 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 8-31 39 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 40 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 15 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Both the experience of the guest, as well as the experience of the cast, although adhering to different standards, are orchestrated to be as positive as possible. 41 For example, the Escape from Everest ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was extensively researched to be as authentic as possible.

Disney’s Imagineers travelled to Nepal to study the mountain and its environment to make the ride more realistic while collecting more than 8,000 artefacts used in the cue for the ride to keep guests entertained while they waited to board. 42 Beyond just smiling, courteous employees, equally important are the numerous support systems that enable the employee to perform the assigned function and maintain a positive attitude. The resort was designed to incorporate strong support systems; these include the resort’s own telephone and energy services companies, as well as attractions designed for reliability and show appeal.

Support teams such as horticulture, art and design, human resources, central shops, and maintenance assist line management b providing services which free them to concentrate on their assigned role. 43 An Industrial Engineering department constantly evaluates the resort’s operating systems and ensures that they are kept to established service standards. Daily inspections, show-quality reports, wait-time studies, maintenance punch lists, and utilization studies all contribute to a safe and efficient operation between guest and operating systems.

An extensive, internal shopping service is also provided to management for objectively monitoring operating systems and cast member performance. Disney maxim: “We strive for perfection, but we’ll settle for excellence. ” 41 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 42 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 43 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 6 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY D. CASTING (HIRING) Hire friendly people who will in turn be friendly to the guests. Beyond the conventional routes of advertising, high school recruiting, job fairs and employee referrals, Disney identifies potential future employees through its College Program, in which students receive school credit for working at Disney World in the resort, attraction, retail, and food and beverage areas. There are also internship programs for professional positions such as engineering and animation.

Through its Project Future, Disney gives half-day jobs to high school students who are at risk of dropping out; students attend school for the other half. Program graduates are offered full-time positions. 44 Engaging Generation Y, Disney strives to expose people to its leadership through many venues, by speaking at conferences, leading panel discussions, or leveraging our alumni connections. Disney also leverages technology, engaging the current generation through their informal communities such as MySpace and LinkedIn. They tap into blogs and find out what things people are interested in, in terms of why they would join a company. 5 The casting process itself is a process of entertainment: job-opening newsletter is called “Casting Call,” and the recruiting programme is called “Casting Scout. ” Applicants learn Disney’s principles immediately and must pass the rigorous hiring standards. Disney rejects on average two out of every three applicants for its front-line entry-level positions, and more than 99 resumes are rejected for each salaried job. Disney requires each front-line job applicant to view a video during their initial visit that outlines the appearance, transportation and compensation requirements for the job.

If the applicant feels they cannot meet those, they are asked to leave. The company then immerses each job applicant in its “Traditions” program, which drives deeper into Disney’s culture and applicants are again told to bow out if they have any doubts. 46 Successful corporate culture is • • • • By design Well-defined Clear to all Goal-oriented. Walt Disney World culture operationalised • • • • Presented up front Trained consistently Communicated constantly Supporting through a caring environment. Source: Disney Institute Source: Disney Institute 44 45 Cook, M.

H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. “Courting Creativity at Disney. ” BusinessWeek, Dec 2006. 46 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design & Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 17 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY E. TRAINING & INSPIRING THE PASSION Extend the concept of show business throughout the culture to help attain the “buy in” of the cast. From the beginning, an employee is not hired for a job but, rather, cast for a role in the show. Cast members wear costumes, not uniforms.

They play before an audience of guests, not a crowd of customers. When they are in a guest environment, they are “onstage”; when they are in an employee environment, they are “backstage. ”47 Training setting communicates visually Disney philosophy and tradition. Throughout the halls of the Centre building housing Disney University there are models, displays and wall graphics depicting a year-by-year history of Disney productions, from Walt’s first garage studio to the huge corporate offices of today. 48 WDW Casting Centre greets the new hires with 15 Disney characters that stand atop twelve pedestals.

Illustrations on the ceiling show Peter Pan and Tinkerbell flying across the sky. 49 Disney looks at all jobs as equally important, so a laundry host or hostess goes through most of the same training that a manager does. New hires take six days of training before starting their jobs. 50 At the core of Disney’s internal training are “Storytelling” and the “Traditions”, through which new cast members learn about Disney’s history51 Disney uses company history to its advantage, telling cast members that 68 years of Disney history, along with the Disney name and image, on the line with each of them.

As cast members, they can choose to reinforce or tear down that image with each guest they come into contact with. The reality of Disney’s business, and perhaps that of everyone in the service industry, is that success depends on each cast member making the right decision and providing the right behaviour for each guest situation. 52 Training employs symbolism, such as “A vision is a picture that lives in inspirational films, hearty pep talks, family the minds and inspires people. ” David Mulvey, Disney Institute staff imagery, exemplars of corporate performance, and the canonized founder in the corporate mythology.

When Walt Disney was alive, newcomers and veterans alike were told how much he enjoyed coming to the park and just how exacting he was about the conditions he observed. For employees, the cautionary whoop “Walt’s in the park” could often bring forth additional energy and care for one’s part in the 47 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 48 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 49 Raz, Aviad E. “The Hybridization of Organizational Culture in Tokyo Disneyland. Studies in Cultures, Organizations, and Societies, 1999, 5, pp. 235-264. 50 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 51 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 52 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 18 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY production. Upon his death, trainers in the university were said to be telling recruits to mind their manners because “Walt’s in the park all the time now. 53 All cast members learn three magic imperatives: keep the park (your work area) clean, create happiness (be pleasant and helpful to customers and co-workers), do your job. 54 Orientation is conducted not by professional trainers, but from rank-and-file employees who relate their own real-life experiences working at Disney World and Disneyland, aiding the “buy-in” of new employees. Some that knew Walt are still around to share their personal memories of the visionary man that began it all. 5Traditions I, day 1 of new employee orientation, is taught on a rotating basis by various cast members who are screened and trained to instruct the orientation. Through their own experiences working in the organization, these seasoned cast members are very effective orientation teachers. Volunteer teaching saves money, while it also gives cast members the opportunity to practice presentation skills, work with group dynamics and become good candidates for other positions. 56 Teamwork is key, starting from a “teamwork quiz” during training.

After giving instructions, the instructor leaves the room. As the new cast members begin working, someone realizes that an answer is on the wall, they let someone else at their table know the answer. Then someone at the next table hears it and shares the answer. They soon realize that they are not in competition with each other, but they are actually working all together. (Heise 1994:19). 57 It is key that cast members understand how their roles fit the whole pie. Organizations that are developing their own programs should look at their distinctions that really work.

Focus on those differences and understand why they work so that participants can go back and ask what’s similar in their areas that they can play off of. 58 For example, when a new cast member reports to work on the first day, the restaurant manager escorts him or her into the restaurant. There, a table has been set with fine linen and china just as it would be set for Disney guests. As they were discussing the restaurant’s operation, the new dishwasher noticed that a glass had lipstick stains, the dishes had crusts of food on the rims, and the silverware was spotted.

When the manager asked why she seemed distracted, she pointed out that the dishes hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly. “Imagine,” said the manager, “that you are a guest who will spend $100 for that meal. ” This way, the manager encouraged the 53 Van Maanen, John (1991). The Smile Factory: Work at Disneyland. Reframing Organizational Culture, Newbury Park, Cal. : Sage. 54 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 55 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 56 Martinez, Michelle Neely. “Disney Training Works Magic. ” HR Magazine, May 1992, . 57 Raz, Aviad E. “The Hybridization of Organizational Culture in Tokyo Disneyland. ” Studies in Cultures, Organizations, and Societies, 1999, 5, pp. 235-264. 58 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training & Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 19 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY new cast member to “own” the guest experience, by soliciting her feedback.

In a topdown culture, he might have lectured about proper cleaning procedures. But by trusting the cast member’s instincts and judgment to recognize—and point out—the elements of what Disney calls “bad Show,” the manager models a leadership style that encourages and rewards employee involvement. The restaurant manager immerses his cast members in the “guest experience” before they’re trained on the specific tasks they were hired to perform. Within that “guest experience,” cast members see the big picture and their role in it.

The connection to a larger purpose is central to Disney’s ability to motivate cast members across the property to maximize their performances and create what are called “magical moments” for the guests and for fellow cast members. 59 59 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training & Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 20 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY F. EMPOWERING & MAKING MAGIC “High-Tech” versus “High-Touch”. In the delivery of quality “Disneyland is a show! service, there are two parts to every cast member’s role: Walt Disney the mechanical and the personal touch. The mechanical is the job function that an employee has been assigned to do, that is, to serve food, sell merchandise, drive a monorail, help people on or off an attraction. This part of the role must be done correctly in a manner that exceeds guests’ expectations. This is not, however, the most important part of the role to be performed. The personal touch is the eye-to-eye contact, the smiles, the pleasant, courteous tone, the sincere caring that comes through the transaction.

This is the competitive edge that companies strive for in the service business. Disney has found that it can’t force the personal touch. To obtain it, the company must go for the emotions in people to get them to “buy in” and play their role in the show. 60 Create a descriptive vision of the future, sell the vision to each member of the cast, get them excited Disney Institute about it, and follow through to ensure that each milestone is reached in a timely manner. Empowerment is an active process that encourages the cast to get involved, taking the strategic plan from the boardroom to the point of action on Main Street U.

S. A. in the Magic Kingdom Park. 61 Cast members pepper their conversation with phrases like “making magic” for the guests and “sprinkling pixie dust”. People who work for Disney passionately believe in it, and in their mission—“to create happiness. ” Emotion trumps everything. Pride in one’s organization can overcome apathy and minimum productivity. It is one of the most important motivators an employee can maintain: the thought of being a part of one of America’s most famous traditions, Disney! 2 Disney’s internal research reinforces the significance of a relationship between a high level of leadership involvement and a high level of pride among the frontline cast, which knows that their ideas are valued and acted on. 63 60 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 61 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 62 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training & Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 63 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training & Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 21 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY G. ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY Great leaders view employees as centres of creative solutions, not just as members of a team who execute management’s dictates. Leaders motivate people, develop their talents, and provide proper resources and rewards to them to succeed. Most importantly, leaders view all levels of employees as capable of taking a leadership role in coming up with and implementing creative ideas and solutions.

Such inclusive leadership generates a vital, creative culture. Many leaders opt to hold weekly, opendoor board meetings rather than executive committee meetings. Disney training focuses on behaviours, but facilitating a sense of ownership also breeds motivation and excellent performance. 64 To keep the ideas flowing, all cast members must feel valued and motivated. Disney CEO Bob Iger spent half a day at Buena Vista Games Inc. talking to game developers in town for a brainstorming session. “These are guys who’ll go back to England or wherever with a sense that their ideas are getting heard,” says game unit chief Graham Hopper. That’s tremendously empowering to a creative person. ” 65 Encouraging creativity at all levels of a company: • Run the Gong Show, a thrice-yearly in-house meeting where anyone who thinks he or she has a good idea can run it past top management, live and in person. No mere window-dressing, these bull sessions give workers a chance to propose whole new businesses, like the now 600-store chain of Disney retail shops. The brainchild of an employee named Steve Burke, the stores today bring in more than $100 million a year—not bad for an idea that sceptical CEO Michael Eisner had to be talked into. 6 Implement a “I Have an Idea” suggestion program: awarded based on the amount of money saved, from a $25 gift certificate to a maximum $50,000 award for tangible ideas and $25,000 for intangibles. Recognition can include a quarterly awards luncheon and framed certificate. 67 Set up Circles of Excellence to meet regularly to address current or potential service challenges and come up with creative solutions. These advisory councils, made up of management and frontline cast from the various operating areas, collectively identify, assess, and resolve operational issues as they arise.

Example: recently, custodial hosts and hostesses in Tomorrowland were having trouble getting to the trash cans to empty them fast enough, so they documented the seriousness of the problem and came up with a creative solution: wearing in-line skates. Now, they are not only doing their jobs more • • 64 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training ; Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 65 “How Bob Iger Unchained Disney. ” Business Week. Feb 2007. . 66 Fisher, Anne. “A Mickey Mouse Way to Run Companies. ” Fortune, Mar 1999, 139, 6. 7 Eisman, Regina. “Disney Magic. ” Incentive. Sep 1993; 167, 9; pp. 45-56. 22 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY efficiently, but also have become a unique part of the Show in the Magic Kingdom. 68 • Train cast members on the measurement processes for guest satisfaction so that, as problems arise, they know the procedure for identifying crucial guest issues, they know how to measure the problem, and they know how to arrive at effective solutions. The outstanding feature of this process is its flexibility so that it can be spontaneous.

For example, Housekeeping at the Wilderness Lodge found, through measurement, that its runners were spending several hours a day delivering extra pillows to the Guest rooms. The cast members brainstormed ideas to solve the situation and recommended putting two extra pillows in the closet of each room—simple yet effective. The next time Housekeeping measured, it found that the extra delivery time had been reduced from hours per day to minutes per month. Within seven days, the Wilderness Lodge recovered the cost of purchasing an additional 1,500 pillows. 9 Just having creative people isn’t enough, have the proper systems in place to capture and implement the ideas whenever and wherever they occur. Disney believes that companies can foster creative energy by stimulating idea generation, managing the dynamic tension necessary to innovation, and establishing a “predictable flow” of ideas. The process is never completed, so need to measure and measure and measure. 70 Michael Eisner, the (former) CEO of Disney, likes to get involved in the creative process to a surprising level of detail.

He continually challenges Team Disney with questions like, “Where’s the Disney difference? ” and “What makes it Disney? ” He does this in a constant effort to find and create whatever is both unique and compatible with the well-defined Disney culture. 71 His pillars of leadership are:72 • Being there: “we create a loose environment where people are urged to speak their minds, be irreverent, say what they think, and advocate ideas. ” Being a nudge: “I don’t forget things. Once something is in my head, I can’t get rid of it until it has been stuck into somebody else’s head.

I follow up to ensure good ideas don’t get lost. ” Being an idea generator: “the leader should be sprouting ideas all the time. Many of my ideas are bad, and I am told so quickly. Such honesty must exist. Criticism must go up as well as down. ” • • 68 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training ; Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 69 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training ; Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 70 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training ; Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 71 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 72 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 23 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY “The more entrepreneurial and creative the leaders the better, as long as they have some financial understanding,” Eisner further advises. “If the person who is running the business is creative, that business will have interesting products.

Friction gives rise to extraordinary creative success. In business, creativity has a way of cleaning up the balance sheet. Ideas come out of an environment of supportive conflict. ”73 Bob Iger, the current CEO of Disney, behind the scenes has upended Eisner’s centrally planned company, hacking away at the bureaucracy and unshackling a group of veteran executives to plot their own courses. By surrounding himself with smart people, including Jobs and the Pixar crew, and letting them get on with it, Iger has recreated a can-do culture at Disney: “You put good people in jobs and give them room to run.

You involve yourself in a responsible way, but not to the point where you are usurping their authority. I don’t have the time or concentration—and you could argue maybe even the talent—to do that. ” 73 Eisner, Michael. “Aim for Excellence. ” Executive Excellence, Apr 2000, p. 13. 24 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY H. BE OUR GUEST Maximum loyalty results from the connection of Identity, Value, and Relationships. The greater the connection, the greater the loyalty. It works in fives steps: study the audience, tailor the experience, orchestra the details, create the magic, and kindle the relationship. 4 Disney recognizes that the common thread running through all it services is the ability to make guests happy. These services include providing quality entertainment in theme parks, serving food, selling merchandise, operating resorts, running transportation systems, and providing recreational facilities. 75 Superior Service • Make sure cast members know the priorities and their order of importance: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. These words are designed to help facilitate decision-making in the day-to-day operation, particularly when a cast member is confronted with a situation he or she has not previously encountered.

In other words, Disney tells its cast that the only time courtesy can be sacrificed is in the interest of safety. The safety of the guest is the first priority and must be built into everything cast members do. “Show” is the term for theming or the implied message of the whole experience. Show will be sacrificed only in the interest of safety or courtesy to guests. 76 “Magical Moment” A custodial host was vacuuming the litter left behind when a guest asked him where he could get a cup of ice. The host, who couldn’t leave the large vacuum leaner unattended, directed the guest to a drink cart across the street. The host noticed that the cast member at the drink cart was also wearing a radio, so he called ahead with the guest’s request. The cast member at the cart filled a cup with ice and had it waiting. He said to the guest, “I believe you’re looking for a cup of ice. ” The guest could hardly believe it. That extra three seconds of the custodial host’s time created a magical service snapshot that the guest can share with family and friends many times. Source : Taylor (1998), « Leadership : Lessons from the Magic Kingdom » Whatever business you’re in—it’s show business. From the costumed characters who roam Main Street to the housekeepers in the hotels, Disney’s cast members are constantly reminded that they are part of a show designed to delight and entertain guests. Whenever they’re “onstage”—Disney-speak for any area where they might encounter guests—they must maintain their smiling, approachable, helpful demeanour. At Disney property, every employee follows the same guidelines as a cast member on Main Street. Make eye contact. 74 75 Disney Institute. Johnson, Rick. A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 76 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 25 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Smile. Never eat, drink, or smoke in guests’ presence. Disney executives will never step over a piece of trash: like any employee, they’re expected to help keep the park clean. 77 “Magical Moment” A guest asks what time the parade begins. The cast member not only gives the correct time, but also ffer a little extra, such as “if you get to the parade 20 minutes prior to show time, you’ll get a good spot” or “if you go to Frontierland you’ll have a good view. ” Source : Martinez, « Disney Training Works Magic » • Quality service means exceeding guest expectations and paying attention to detail. Go the extra mile to make guests happy, even if that means opening the doors 10 minutes early or closing them 20 minutes late. “If the guests are truly satisfied with their experience, people will come back. And although the cost may be high, the superior quality of service will overcome all else. 78 Exceeding expectations meanings maintaining cleanliness and friendliness beyond the already high level expected, and details are “that something extra. ”79 Cast members are taught to take the extra step. They are told that no matter what role they play, the goal is happiness. “It’s not my job” are forbidden words. 80 Build emotion into the experience through magical moments and Take Fives: cast members take five minutes out of their day to proactively do something 68% of the customers leave because of special for a guest. Be “aggressively perception of employee indifference. riendly,” incorporate smiles, enthusiasm, Disney Institute sincerity, high energy, and concern for the happiness of the guest. The cast members look for opportunities for “magic moments”—those little things that happen for guests that are utter surprises. 81 82 Airline executives should rush to the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. Our heads sank when we approached and saw the sign advertising a 15-minute wait. Despair turned to elation when we were ushered into the spooky entry hall in just a few minutes. This experience was repeated time and again—at rides and restaurants—where promised delays of 20 minutes miraculously shrank in half.

After a few days, it became apparent that this might be a conscious strategy of underpromising and overdelivering. Which is precisely the opposite • • 77 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. ” Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. Lucas, Amy. “Disney Shares Definition of Excellence. ” Wearable Business, Mar 2007, p. 18. 79 Powell, Peter. “Disney Offers Contractors Advice. ” Air Conditioning, Heating ; Refrigeration News, Mar 2001, p. 10. 80 Martinez, Michelle Neely. “Disney Training Works Magic. ” HR Magazine, May 1992, . 81 Johnson, Rick. A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 82 Emory, Cheryl. “The Disney Institute Approach to Human Capital: An Interview with Larry Lynch. ” . 78 26 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY of the tack airlines have taken to these many years. The carriers continually promise that planes will leave or arrive at a specific time when they know the probability of an on-time departure is only slightly greater than the probability of your suitcase’s being the first item to hit the luggage carousel. 3 “Magical Moment” “A housekeeper in one of our resort hotels discovered that a guest was not feeling well so she took the time to get chicken soup from a resort restaurant and bring it back to the guest. ” Source: Emory, « The Disney Institute Approach to Human Capital » • Plan ahead for customers. Managers, maitre d’s and hostesses at every highend restaurant in Los Angeles should be schooled on the radical innovation of the Fast Pass. At many fine-dining restaurants, customers with reservations frequently are made to wait for tables, and slip the maitre d’ a $20 bill to avoid being seated in Siberia.

But Disney is far more democratic. If you’re willing to plan ahead, you can print out a ticket—a Fast Pass—that entitles the holder to instant access to a ride later in the day—for no extra charge! 84 Employees are customers, too treat them well. One person notes that the cook in the cafeteria treated the employees better than he’s been treated in some restaurants. 85 Walt Disney: “Let’s only be concerned about two things; number one, have they had a good time? Number two, have they received their value, because people will pay for quality. ” Source: Johnson. « A Strategy for Service—Disney Style » • Expand the product to include the entire experience, from reservations, to tickets, parking, waiting in line, the “ride”, through exiting, from resting, to buying food, asking directions, the attraction, waiting in line, buying tickets, through parking car. Think beyond the gates of parks and stores about how to improve the experience even more. Disney is looking at ways it can help build excitement for guests as they pack their bags for their trip. Automakers should apply the same thinking to their organizations: What do the trucks that deliver the cars to the dealership convey?

What about the trucks delivering parts to the factory? Do break rooms keep your employees engaged in the brand? It’s the small stuff that makes the difference. Customers can’t always comprehend the quality of a product or service, but they do readily perceive the quality of the “experience” around the product or service. 86 83 Gross, Daniel. “Mickey’s Management Mojo. ” Newsweek, Nov 2007, 150, 21. Gross, Daniel. “Mickey’s Management Mojo. ” Newsweek, Nov 2007, 150, 21. 85 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 86 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 84 27 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY Service Recovery • Every cast member knows that it is his or her responsibility to resolve any guestservice failure. “Think with your heart, on behalf of the guest—and you will do the right thing. ”87 Push the power to solve problems down to the frontline cast. Provide staff with the freedom to provide guests with whatever they need to make their experience memorable. A server doesn’t need to summon her manager to offer up additional deserts to a family kept waiting too long for their meals.

The cost of service recovery went down. 88 Another example is the parking lot attendant who designed a system for helping guests find their cars when they forget where they parked them. (The attendant designed a chart that records within what time slot each row fills up. Then, any attendant can ask a guest what time he or she arrived at the park and consult the chart to find the car. ) When a man got locked out of his car on a previous visit to Disney, security was at his side in 10 minutes. They not only made him two copies of his ignition key and gave him a box for the keys, they even showed him a good hiding place for the box.

A woman’s wheelchair broke at the park, park personnel lent her a replacement in five minutes flat, and fixed hers for free by the end of the day. 89 A guest had turned in a critical comment card: “I just finished a visit to the Magic Kingdom, and Captain Hook ignored my eight-year-old daughter. She’s very disappointed. ” How could staffers—known, in Disney speak, as cast members—restore this girl’s spirits? Should Captain Hook visit the girl in her room? No—after she had tattled on the evil pirate, his appearance would be more menacing than magical. She needed a hero to fly to her rescue.

So the next time the girl came back to her hotel, on her bed she found a plush figure of Peter Pan and a postcard. “I hear Captain Hook was mean to you! ” the “Boy Who Won’t Grow Up” wrote. “Here’s a picture of me fighting him. ” Weeks later, the father wrote another note: “My little girl still thinks Peter Pan flew in and brought all these things himself. ” Source : Taylor (2006), «When Service Means Everything » • • “It’s not our fault, but it is our problem. ” If a guest happens to lose their wallet or valuable item on a ride, Disney doesn’t throw their hands up and say, “We had a sign that said you should secure your valuables. The organization is geared to help the guest resolve the problem by searching the ride after operations close or by providing help in making sure the situation doesn’t leave a negative impression on the overall experience. A disgruntled guest is a guest who can’t experience the magic—no matter why she’s unhappy. The weather was bad, so the guests missed their reservations on the popular character-themed restaurants. Or they lost their park tickets. So the late-but-hungry family will be 87 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. ” Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. 89 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training ; Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 88 28 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY fed. And when an unhappy father comes to the window to replace lost tickets, “we ask a series of questions, and if we’re satisfied that the family had tickets, we’ll replace them at no extra charge. We all have policies, we all have budgets—but these are our guests. ” 90 In trying to remedy a service error, remember that the facts are negotiable, but a guest’s perceptions are not. 91 • Treat everyone as an individual.

Cast members are encouraged to seek the remedy that best addresses the guest’s problem—and best maintains the magic. “We don’t advocate a regimented, prescriptive solution that may not work. We want that family to feel that this situation is just for them. ” 92 Did you know? The most frequently asked question at Walt Disney World is “Where is the bathroom? ” The second most frequently asked question is, “What time is the 3 o’clock parade? ” (That’s when friendly customer service is sorely tested. Disney has determined, however, that what the guest is really asking is, “What time will the 3 o’clock parade pass where I plan to be? ) Source : Allerton, « Professional Development the Disney Way » • Anticipate unhappiness so the show can go on. Like all theme parks, Disney has minimum-height requirements for its rides—and they’re prominently posted all along the queue. But inevitably, children who are too small will arrive at the entrance after a long wait in line. Cast members can’t waive these safety rules, but they can give the child a go-to-the-head-of-the-line certificate for a future visit after she’s gained those few critical inches. At Space Mountain, the child is dubbed a Mousetraonaut.

When she returns, her certificate gets a new entry— “On [this date], I was tall enough to ride Space Mountain”—and becomes a keepsake. Look at every event, every transaction, every process, and ask, “What can go wrong? ” If it can go wrong, sometimes it will. Be prepared. 93 Know Thy Guest • Listen to your guests. Guests told Disneyland Paris they wanted the park to be more tailored to the European market, not just another copy of what was in California and Florida. The staff responded by offering guests several unique touches, including the option to buy wine. 4 Importance of “Guestology”, known elsewhere as “consumer research”: market research in determining customer needs. “If we are going to build it for them, we cannot guess at who they are and what they want. ” 95 For instance, most of • 90 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. ” Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training ; Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 92 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. ” Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. 93 Taylor, Karla. “When Service Means Everything. Associations Now, Nov 2006, pp. 36-42. 94 Kelly, Kevin M. “Learning from Walt Disney. ” Automotive Design ; Production, Nov 2007, pp. 28-31 95 Powell, Peter. “Disney Offers Contractors Advice. ” Air Conditioning, Heating ; Refrigeration News, Mar 2001, p. 10. 91 29 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY the guests who will visit the resort this year have visited before, so Disney recognizes that it has a loyal audience with high expectations and understands that it can’t disappoint a guest, even once. It’s this understanding that defines Disney service as “guest-driven. Disney considers the guest perspective in every business decision. Disney is constantly keeping track of guest information such as the following: demographics, evaluation of current marketing strategies, attraction evaluations, payment preferences, price sensitivity, and the economy. Perhaps the survey considered most important is the price/value survey taken as guests are exiting the theme parks. 96 Focus groups conducted by the Marketing department at the resort gather qualitative information concerning the open-ended impressions of guests and their reactions to future projects.

With the potential to generate so much data concerning its guests, Disney has learned to focus on what matters the most in successfully delivering quality service. The company quantifies data, for example, and includes it in pro formas on future projects, which include guest satisfaction and value factors. 97 Who does Disney study when it comes to service? • • • • • • Ritz-Carlton McDonald’s Four Seasons hotels Commerce Bank in New Jersey Chick Fil-A Boeing Source : Bruce Jones, Disney Institute director 96 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 8-43. 97 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 30 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY I. COMMUNICATION: SHARE THE DREAMS Communicate not only news around the organization, but also the ideas, philosophies, and concepts. Besides publishing two weekly newsletters for all employees and one for salaried personnel, the Cast Communications department also publishes a corporate quarterly magazine, annual report and several other publications are published. Each department also has its own newsletter (i. . Rag Times for the costume department, CompuTalk for the computer area). A “Creative Ideas” program, utilizing the suggestion box concept, enables all employees to formally communicate ideas to management. An annual summer meeting brings all cast members together to update them on the latest developments in the company. 98 Key strategies for communication: • • Solicit information from everyone Show individuals how they contribute • Meet cast members’ diverse needs Source : Disney Institute Conduct company-wide opinion polls and systematically act on the information.

Each year a company-wide opinion poll, asking for organizational strengths and weaknesses, is conducted. Every two years, Disney surveys all employees on their experiences in the company. It gives the survey results to managers, who in turn inform employees at meetings. Each Disney division writes an action plan based on the survey. 99 Use performance appraisals as a communication tool. The typical appraisal aims not just to rate performance, but to discuss ways in which employees can grow within the company, propose plans to develop their strengths and define the role the manager will play in this development.

Employees also fill out their own appraisals, rating themselves on their performance, and discuss their own perceptions with the manager. 100 Disney uses communication to keep employees happy. A group of employees went to France for several months to plan the opening of Euro Disney. The company invited everyone’s family to a party at Disney World and made a video of each family saying hi to their relatives. Then the video was shipped to France and shown to the employees who were there. 101 Management and non-management are always on a first name basis.

Everyone is required to wear nametags. Guest Letters departments of both the Parks and Resorts Divisions receive tens of thousands of letters and guest comment forms annually; their goal is to respond to each one as quickly as possible. To close the information loop and provide invaluable feedback to operational management, guest comment reports, which condense the essence of all guest comments, are generated and distributed weekly to management. These reports are classified by location and list all compliments and complaints.

This process allows complaints to be dealt with quickly to prevent reoccurrences. 102 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 100 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 101 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 102 Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 99 98 31 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 00 things you can learn from DISNEY J. SUPPORT, DEVELOP AND REWARD CAST MEMBERS (EMPLOYEES) The Cast Activities department provides a broad spectrum of recreational, social, cultural and special activities for employees and their families. These activities include sport programs of all types, a company-owned lake for employees only, theatre workshops, community services, special employee-only visits to the “Magic Kingdom”, film festivals and previews, various travel and entertainment programs, comfortable break and eating areas for employees, and just about everything else one can imagine!

The cast activities area of the centre provides employees with housing assistance, doctor and dental referrals, sells auto license plates, provides voter registration facilities, sells hunting and fishing licenses, and even maintains a list of merchants offering discounts to Disney employees. There are lots of clubs and recreational activities—a volleyball league, choir, karate club, scuba classes, cake decorating classes, guitar lessons and more. Cast members also have their own recreation area, which is open to their families as well. Preserving Walt Disney’s motivational philosophies and traditions, the university staff is concerned not only with an employee’s education and development, but also with his or her motivation, morale, communication and physical working atmosphere; Disney University is interested in the professional as well as the personal growth. It also provides social and recreational activities for the employee. The Walt Disney tradition and motivational philosophies exist everywhere, readily apparent in the program titles: Disney Way Seminars, What Can I Do For You?

Disney Way I ; II, etc. 103 “Cross-utilization” during the resort’s peak times: members of management and support teams put their paperwork aside and work short shifts in custodial, food service locations, or in any number of on-stage positions. This way guests are served, cast members are supported during a busy period, and management and support personnel gain a renewed respect and empathy for the frontline cast member. 104 Care = Supportive environment + Recognition Disney Institute Lateral moves within Disney are perceived as promotions and celebrated. 105

Training doesn’t stop after orientation; there’s a long list of programs for cast members, including many classes that focus on developing skills—accounting, computer programming, marketing, and so on. Others address everything from safety measures and sanitation to business writing and “Put a Smile in Your Voice. ” Working in cooperation with Florida Technical University, Valencia Community College and the Orange County Adult Education Department, courses such as management, business law, landscaping, automotives, etc. are offered at Disney World, with instructors making weekly visits to the grounds.

An education reimbursement program offers up to 100% rebate for job-related courses. 106 103 104 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. Johnson, Rick. “A Strategy for Service—Disney Style. ” Journal of Business Strategy, Sep/Oct 1991, pp. 38-43. 105 Allerton, Haidee. “Professional Development the Disney Way. ” Training ; Development, May 1997, pp. 50-56. 106 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 32 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY

A key component of Disney’s strategy is plenty of employee incentives and recognition programs. Examples include: • Distinguished Service Awards Banquet. Cast members who have been at Disney for 10 years are invited with a guest; they can attend subsequent banquets after every five years of additional service. Service awards include a plaque, gold ring and statues of Mickey Mouse and Pinocchio. 107 Attendance awards. Ranging from honorary certificates to a $2,000 gift certificate, these awards are distributed to employees after one, three, five, ten and fifteen years of perfect attendance. 08 Gold Dream Pin. Each month, hourly resort employees who exemplify Gracious Hospitality receive a pin, $100 gift certificate and lunch with the general manager. All Dream Pin recipients are eligible for the resort-division Cast Member of the Year; one person from each resort is honoured at an annual banquet and gets a $500 gift certificate and a pin with rubies. Out of these winners, one overall winner is chosen and is awarded a diamond pin and a $1,000 certificate. 109 Applause-O-Gram. Managers can award these certificates to hourly park employees who are spotted doing something commendable. 10 By celebrating success, we create a culture of success.

Disney Institute • • • • Cast Member of the Month. Each month, a retail worker earns a $100 gift certificate and wall plaque for excellent service. The retail division also cites Department of the Month, giving certificates to each person, and Department of the Year, with jackets for all. 111 Banker’s Club. Hourly resort workers who handle cash and keep a perfect balancing record for six months receive a $25 gift certificate and Cross pen set. 112 • • Guest Service Fanatic. Members can recognize each other for exemplary behaviours on-the-spot by handing out these special cards. 13 In addition to incentives and recognition, Disney offers numerous benefits, among them a pension plan, 401K (for salaried employees), stock purchase plan, educational reimbursement, complimentary admission to Disney parks (for employees and immediate families) and discounted movie tickets. 114 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 109 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 110 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 111 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 112 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 113 Taylor, Craig R. and Cindy Wheatley-Lovoy. “Leadership: Lessons from the Magic Kingdom. ” Training ; Development, July 1998, pp. 22-25. 114 Cook, M. H. “What Can I Do For You? ” Training ; Development, Sep 1974, pp. 30-34. 108 107 33 ©BUDD UK LTD, 2008 100 things you can learn from DISNEY SO WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM DISNEY? Maybe lots, but will you make any difference?

We have suggested some discussion questions to workshop with your colleagues so you can make Fast+Simple experiences for your customers. Contact us if you want us to facilitate the discussions. How Fast+Simple is your company? Some simple debating points Area PHILOSOPHY • • • • • Key elements How do you create happiness for your customers? Are you prepared to take risks to respond to what your customers say they need? How do you get everyone involved in your company’s vision? In what ways do your leaders show they value your people? What frontline feedback does your management observe and listen to firsthand?

What’s your definition of a quality culture? How do you build consistency so you can drive to constantly exceed customers’ expectations? Do you have the right systems and processes in place to help customers touch, feel and sense quality service and operations Do you make the hiring process fun? How do you ensure applicants learn about your company’s principles – so they know if they’ll fit in? What are the magic imperatives in your company? Do employees know and live them? Does training build collaborative working across different business teams – or just competition?

How do you sell the vision to your employees? Can you balance High Tech with High Touch? Do you have ways of capturing creative thinking and ideas at all levels of the organisation? What ‘makes the difference’ in your company? Can you underpromise and overdeliver? Are you willing to you push the power to solve problems down to the frontline? Do you systematically act on feedback from staff? How do you close the information loop to provide invaluable feedback to management? What level of importance do you place on factors like motivation, morale, communication ; a good physical working atmosphere for employees.

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