Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Follow in Tony Hsieh's footsteps - Zappos CEO Champions The Disney Way

"'The employee is the company'" is the sentiment at the center of both Zappos' and Disney's experience.  Moving your business toward that level of engagement is at the heart of The Disney Way."  Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos and Author of Delivering Happiness

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year!

Traditionally, each New Year is a time to reflect on the “old” and ring in the “new.”  But like Disney and Pixar, we believe that celebrations and “play” should happen throughout the entire year. 
Of course it’s great to celebrate team member milestones – a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation.  We are all for showcasing the talents and accomplishments of an entire team at special times. 
But, on a daily basis, “play” is an essential ingredient that makes work fun and rewarding.  According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, [which] is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation…”   Can you believe that we need a national organization to protect and promote our right to play?!
 No company we know has the value of “play” more entwined in the fabric of their culture than Pixar.  The world-famous creators of the ground-breaking animated feature film, Toy Story, live in the land of scooters.  The story goes that one day John Lasseter brought his son’s scooter into work and began riding it around.  Soon other employees showed up with scooters, and before long, there was a small fleet of them.  Pixar director Pete Docter remarked, “We got into these scooter races – there was a track mapped out, kind of a loop, and we’d time people and write the times on the wall.  We all got into a very fierce competition over who could get the best time.”  In Bill's keynote presentations on the subject of Pixar’s fun-infused innovative culture, he rides in on a scooter and awards it to a participant with the condition that they ride it in their workplace and let everyone know that they are "unleashing their childlike potential!"
Whenever a new Pixar feature film is released, they stage a release celebration – a black-tie luncheon event where the employees don their finest to commemorate the film’s completion and celebrate another dream come true.  Your celebrations don’t have to be on par with the grand Pixar style of ceremonial hoopla.  Just giving people a reason to get out of their offices to celebrate and connect with others in a unique and special way can do wonders for their morale.
Start the New Year off right, and unleash your playful spirit…celebrate all that you value and all that makes life worth living!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Introducing The Disney Way 3rd Edition!

In the 3rd edition (release date - March, 2016), we feature organizations that are predominantly in start-up mode or have revamped their strategies to become more customer-centric.  The line-up includes six entities that have recently launched their businesses or have reinvented their cultures: TYRA Beauty, zTailors, Science Center of Iowa, Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center/Camp Widjiwagan, the Grand County Center of Grand Lake, Colorado and McLean County, Illinois Unit (School) District No. 5. There are also three well-established organizations who are striving to continuously improve: ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and California State University, Channel Islands.  Two additional organizations, Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service and The Village Toy Center, demonstrate how the Dream, Believe, Dare, Do principles apply in a small community business.  And, finally, a case study of how Ottawa County, Michigan, one of the most progressive state administrative divisions in the US, has used each element of The Disney Way as a starting point to create an amazing culture over a period of three years.  
At the end of chapters 2-12 is a riveting example of how one of the featured organizations has put into action the lessons of the chapter.  Chapters 12,13, and 14 are brand new chapters that showcase the following: Chapter 12 - Love - The Real Pixie Dust, which explains the importance of love for employees, customers, products, and yourself; Chapter 13 -  Ottawa County, Michigan -  Disney's Success Credo Transforms County Government is the detailed account of their phenomenally successful customer-centric journey; and Chapter 14 -  Producing a Customer-Centric Culture – An Implementation Strategy is a roadmap for implementing the Dream, Believe, Dare, Do principles in any organization.
Throughout the book, you will also find “Questions to Ask” and “Actions to Take” chalkboards. These will provide you with ideas for living the Dream, Believe, Dare, Do principles and sustain outstanding rewards in doing so.  At the end of each chapter, an Internet link to Chapter Chats with Bill is provided in which co-author, Bill Capodagli, discusses additional insights regarding the materials.
This book tells the story of how passion for employees, customers, and products translate into immeasurable success for Walt Disney and other great leaders.  Their stories come to life through examples of real drive, courage, humanity and a compelling thirst to make a difference within their own organizations.  These leaders possess a charismatic quality that so naturally inspires others to challenge themselves.   In the same vein, they rely on the power of everyone on the entire team to journey together and unlock the future possibilities that they believe are endless. 
Our wish for 2016 is that the inspirational stories in this updated and expanded 3rd edition of The Disney Way will challenge you to examine your Dream, Believe, Dare, Do results and provide new readers with a framework to soar beyond the limits of traditional management through these four powerful principles.  From entry level recruits to CEOs, from private companies to public agencies, Walt Disney's principles continue to redefine the nature of business in our age and revolutionize the art of management.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Customer-Centric Culture Statistics

The results of a recent customer service study conducted by Coldwell Banker indicated “a strong correlation between the quality of a company's customer service and its long-term success.” The findings also revealed that a typical consumer switched businesses they dealt with twice in the past three years due to "bad service."  When asked to define the differences between great and poor service, consumers ranked the top characteristics of companies with "great service" as follows:
  • Resolving questions and problems (66 percent)
  • Knowledge of the product or service (49 percent)
  • Being easy to reach (35 percent)
  • Understanding requirements (35 percent)