It started in 1923 as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Ninety years later, it dominates as one of the largest media companies and entertainment businesses in the world. Disney’s vast holdings include ABC, Marvel Entertainment, Pixar, Lucasfilm and, of course, the top sports TV network presence with ESPN. Yet, Disney's workplace culture—as opposed to its acquisitions—are equally impactful in defining the company. And much of this culture is honed by its leaders at what's known as Disney U, a global training enterprise first launched in 1955. The recent book, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees (McGraw-Hill), provides an insightful, insider's view of the Disney U story. Author Doug Lipp helped create the first international version of the training program. (He and his wife, Pam, met as cast members at Disneyland at Anaheim, Calif., in the early 1980s.) The following 12 best practices promoted at Disney U demonstrate how the organization combines attention to detail, corporate values and the fun factor to develop fully engaged employees who are determined to deliver a superior customer experience. The Lipps now run G. Doug Lipp and Associates, a consultancy specializing in customer service, leadership, change management and global competitiveness.
Teachable Moments Walt Disney was known to say, "Laughter is no enemy to learning." Training sessions, as a result, combine humor and entertainment to increase the message’s impact.
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