By day three of the Disney Institute workshops, my head was spinning with ideas. I would wake up before sunrise, and, even though I couldn’t explain why, I wasn’t going to fight the inspiration. I began to journal the ideas as they flowed so freely at that ridiculous hour.
One particular idea came from an event on day 1. We had just returned to the classroom after our Duckburg Activity. The door flung open and in walked the most gregarious, sassy, tiara-wearing fairy princess that Disney ever created. Her name was Ivana Dream, and she began to dish out an adorable mix of witty and playful banter to the unsuspecting participants. After picking on a select few and sufficiently embarrassing them, she left as quickly as she came and warned she would be back when we least expected her in the coming days. She was as good as her word, bringing a delightful intermission with each visit.
We had just attended an event as the Flanagin Fairies. While driving home we noticed the gas tank was dangerously low, so an unscheduled stop at the nearest gas station was a must. It was definitely a sight you don’t see every day, a Fairy in all her finest pumping gas.
What happened next makes the time and preparation invested in being a Fairy all worth while.
A fellow customer took a double-take at the strange site of a fully costumed Fairy pumping gas and began to strike up a conversation. He asked what we were doing, one thing led to another and he asked to take our picture with his little boy, who was still in the car. Fairies love pictures, so we began to pose in all our Fairy loveliness. We gave his 4-year-old son autographed photos and the dad thanked us for being so nice to his family. And then it happened….
The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, but now what? I have incorporated the Disney magic to my small bulk mail business in Indiana.
Taken from Backstage Magic Tour
Ever wonder why you get that magical feeling when you are visiting a Disney theme park, thinking of going to a Disney theme park, or even talking about Disney? Where is that feeling coming from, and why don’t you feel it when you go to a local theme park, water park, or retail store?
If you have attended a Disney Institute workshop, you know that Disney has a term called “plus it up.” What this means is, once you have your idea or project done and ready to go, take one more look and see if you can make it just a little better (plus it up).
The example they gave at the workshop was from a scene in Roger Rabbit. There was a hanging lamp over a table in one scene and the lamp gets bumped and begins to sway back and forth. It made no real difference to the movie and the average viewer will probably not even notice. It did however add a lot of production time to that scene. Why did they bother? Because they wanted to make that scene just a little bit better. They “bumped the lamp,” another way they refer to “plus it up.” Next time you watch the movie, check it out.
During the Disney Institute workshop, we were instructed to list the points of contact with our customers. A point of contact is any representation of the company that a person comes in contact with: phone calls, meetings, brochures, even your parking lot. The goal is to turn each contact into a positive experience.
While making my list, I had a thought. How could I put a smile on my customer’s face even before they walk in the door? What would let them know we appreciate them and that we have a sense of humor even before we greet them?
Disney calls them the “front line,” we call them the “heart beat” of our company: the employees that are in the trenches, dealing with the public and just plain indispensable.
The front line is full of valuable information that can help with leadership decision-making. Who knows more about your customers’ needs, complaints, or struggles?
On the first day of the Disney Institute workshop, we participated in a leadership exercise called the Duckburg Activity. It was a delightfully funny, eye-opening experiment in communication. It focused on the difficulties of being a front line employee without proper communication from the leaders.
Yes, it is true. The Disney Institute has finally joined Facebook.
“Welcome to the official Disney Institute fan page; Your new home to all things professional development. We invite you to join our online community so we can not only share our stories and philosophies from The Walt Disney Company, but more importantly so you can share your stories with us.” (via Disney Institute/Facebook)
The Disney Institute is alive and well. After listening to Episode 3 of the webcast on InnerMouse.com, I thought I would post a little information about the Disney Institute.
Whether you tune into a Disney Institute WebCast, attend a workshop in your city, or immerse yourself in a multi-day program at a Disney Destination, the lessons are rooted in the time-tested visions and ideals of Walt Disney. As you “experience the business behind the magic,” you’ll discover innovative training methods focused on three key program outcomes: knowledge, comprehension, and application. These outcomes will clearly illustrate ways that you can adapt and apply these lessons into your organization. (excerpt from Disney Institute Website)
I really wanted to attend a Disney Institute workshop, so I added it to my vision board. Locating the D.I. website was easy enough, deciding on which course was not so easy. My dilemma was two-fold: justifying the cost and which course would have the biggest impact on my business.
Leadership excellence > leads to employee excellence > which leads to customer satisfaction > which leads to repeat business and financial gain. Seems simple enough, right? If it works for Disney, why doesn’t it work for every business? The truth is, it can. The key is leadership.
Here is the third beta episode of The Disney Driven Life’s new LIVE show, Inner Mouse. In this week’s show Scott, John, and JL continue to work out the bugs of their new venture while discussing how the Disney brand can be incorporated into the realm of education.
I still vividly remember the day, it was January 22, our facilitator was Mark Matheis and the tour wasBackstage Magic. Why do I remember this day after all these years? Because it was my first experience with the Disney WOW.
The tour was jam-packed with fun Disney facts and “secret” places. Places that most people only dream of seeing, like the corridor under the Magic Kingdom, the daunting holiday decoration warehouse and a special visit to the Disney Florist, to name a few.
I never envisioned that the Disney Institute (DI) would transform my business, but I must confess that it did. Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it has been an ongoing process ever since my first Back Stage Magic tour in 2005. That tour led to a full 5-day workshop Disney’s Value Chain Unlocking the Magic in your Business in 2008 in Orlando Florida and subsequently a Keys to Excellence workshop later in 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since that time I have had a number of DI experiences that have affected my small Bulk Mail business in Valparaiso, Indiana.