Disney at Work Podcast #1: Excellence at Disney

Our first Disney at Work podcast is here! You can connect to it on iTunes. We’re excited to have you take a listen. It re-introduces us and then talks about the Chain Reaction of Excellence, shown below:

Chain Reaction of Excellence

Let’s review visually the key points we spoke of in the podcast:

Growth & Long Term Success

Organizations that are excellent derive success from creating loyal customers. I saw fandom and customer loyalty come together when I saw a tribute to Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds. It was the inspiration for this first Disney at Work podcast. Here are Disney fans who came together with their light sabers and umbrellas to pay homage to what they most love. Take a look at the video I shot:

David Zanolla shared an additional example in our Disney at Work podcast from his travels to Tokyo Disney. There he experienced fans so loyal to the brand that they dress up in lavish costumes during their halloween festivities. Here are some photos of how elaborate their fandom has become.

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Guests spread out through the parks in their costumes. Photo by David Zanolla.
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Princesses enjoying each other’s company. Photo by David Zanolla.
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Peter Pan, Wendy & Tinkerbell. Photo by David Zanolla.
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When BB-8 meets Jack Sparrow. Photo by David Zanolla.
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Snow White & Belle. Photo by David Zanolla.
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It’s hard to tell which costume is home made and which is Disney’s. Photo by David Zanolla.

The point is this: The behavior of loyal customers differs from others. They visit more, promote more, and most of all, spend more. And what does it take to create that kind of loyalty? Superb customer service.

Highly Satisfied Customers

People become loyal fans and customers when their experience with your products and services are great. Not good. Great.

Our first Disney at Work podcast offers two examples of what that looks like. One of them included a family whose child experienced the nightmare of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. You can read this beautiful story of a Disney Cast Member going the extra mile with the help of the entire Disney parade.

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This is one of the few times ever an entire character group photo was taken of those in the parade.

You can read more about that experience in an earlier blog.

David shared the experience of a Scottish Cast Member at Epcot, who shared in their family’s love of Star Wars. Look for John next time you are strolling through Epcot.

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John joins David’s kids to help fight the force. Photo by David Zanolla.

Engaged Employees

The only way to sustainably deliver great customer service is through engaged employees. How do you get cast members like John to go the extra mile? It’s about creating a customer centric culture. There are many factors that influence employee engagement. Here’s one article that looks at recognition at Disney–to include the infamous windows on Main Street. Take a look at my sister site, WorldClassBenchmarking.com.

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This window honors Frank Wells, a great leader in the Walt Disney Company. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Leadership Excellence

We spoke of Leadership Excellence as being the lead domino that drives all of this. I offered this quote by Dianne Miller, the daughter of Walt & Lillian Disney:

“Walt was unquestionably one of the most demanding bosses an employee could ever have. He didn’t hesitate to cut down an employee with a harsh word, or even a public tirade. He was uncompromising in his desire for quality, and he held his staff to the same high standards as he did himself. What’s more, he never thought money was the reason to do good work, and he had difficulty understanding others whose main motivation was cash.”

“And though more than one staffer left the Disney Studio unhappily, many others stayed with Walt for years–some for up to 5 or 6 decades. Thirty years after his death, a number of former employees still welled up with tears when they talked about his passing. This is hardly the mark of a “mean boss.”

Leadership matters as much today as it did in the days of Walt. I also mentioned a recent blog post That discussed Bob Iger, who was made Variety’s Showman of the Year. That too speaks of leadership, not just the positional kind, but how everyone can be a leader–even if your job is making sushi.

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Bob Iger seen in Variety in front of Shanghai Disneyland’s icon.

Disney at Work Podcast Moving Forward

Our Disney at Work podcasts in the days to come are much like our other offerings–we focus on Disney, and we offer best practices that you can bring into your business or organization. No need to worry about whether it might be NSFW. It’s not only safe for work–it will make your work even better! So join us, and whistle while you work!

And if you like our first Disney at Work podcast, please remember to subscribe, so you can be alerted to future podcasts. While there we would welcome a friendly rating and a kind word. Also, don’t forget to send us the answer to our Disney Quiz Question: What is the day and month the Walt Disney Company was established in 1923? Hint: It’s the same as my birthday!

Again, welcome to Disney at Work! We are looking forward to sharing more with you.

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