Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Your Team is the Foundation for Excellence

A maxim of the movie industry is that it takes a happy crew to produce a happy show.
Van France

A constant reminder of the Disney organization’s legacy and success are the posters, pictures, and artwork from Academy Award-winning movies and Tony Award-winning Broadway plays lining the walls of the hallways and training rooms.

courtesy of

courtesy of

Creating the Happiest Place on Earth is a fine balance of values and things, along with a lot of hard work.

The Disney University has a set of crystal-clear values that are aligned with and fiercely supported by the company leadership.

Disney’s organizational values drive the strategies, which in turn drive Disney’s success.

The Disney University makes certain that every employee is properly introduced to the company and understands the importance of the brand: Disney values, Disney history, and Disney traditions. This context further enriches the specific on-the-job training sessions conducted by the operations team that employees must attend immediately after orientation.

Everyone at Disney knows his or her role in keeping the parks friendly, well maintained, and efficiently operating. This way of business – also known as the Disney Philosophy and the Disney Way – involves a huge investment of time, training, and money that not many others are willing to make.

The Disney Philosophy is not just a nice thing to do, but a must do.

Even the lowest-tech, bare-bones, and budget-challenged training program will get the job done as long as hearts and minds are captured. Training programs reflect organizational values and health.

The content of training programs, the individuals who teach, the team members who attend, and the way the team members are supported outside the classroom reveal much about organizational culture.

The Disney University’s success is due to its uncanny ability to capture the hearts and minds of the thousands of cast members it serves.

You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world but it requires people to make it a reality.
– Walt Disney

It may have all started with a mouse, but Disney has come a long way since then.

Applying Van France’s Four Circumstances to ChurchWorld Guest Experience Teams

Innovate – Support – Educate – Entertain

Capture Hearts and Minds

Can you identify the equivalent of Van France’s Four Circumstances (components) that support highly trained, well-prepared and motivated team members? How do you apply those “circumstances” to capture team members’ hearts and minds?

How Does your Organization Balance Values and Things?
• What is your equivalent of Mickey Mouse, your claim to fame?
• How do you balance these things with values?

Pulling Back the Curtain
• Are your training goals aligned with your organizational goals?
• Are all your different departments engaged in your training efforts?

It’s Everyone’s Job (Starting at the Top)
• Does your Leadership Team demonstrate unwavering support of team member development and training efforts?
• Is there a culture of learning and training?
• Who promotes your organizational culture? Who is your equivalent of Walt Disney or Van France (i.e. role models of excellence for aspiring chief cultural officers)?

Inspired by and adapted from Disney U by Doug Lipp
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Disney U
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Continue the Disney U experience on Thursday 3/27/14 with Delivering a Great Guest Experience is a Balance of Art and Science

Disney U is one of the most significant resources related to the Disney organization, leadership, team development, and Guest Experiences available. In honor of the one year anniversary of the release of Disney U, this is a look back at a series from the book that originally ran last year.


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