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Deconstructing Disney DNA To Reconstruct It, For Your Future Enjoyment
Culture is what people think and do without thinking.
- Culture = habits.
- Habits = results
- Culture = results
Your Organization has an origin story. Therein is the origin of your Organizational DNA.
My role as a Disney Keynote Speaker and business advisor is to show ‘outsiders’ the way.
The Disney Way is loaded with entertaining and impressive distractions. Outsiders call it Magic.
Insiders, Employees (Cast Members), don’t call it anything. It is simply the way we do things: The Disney Way if you will, but we don’t call it the Disney Way.
Remember, (Disney) culture is what people think and do without thinking.
i’ve deconstructed Walt (and Roy) Disney’s DNA and reconstructed it in 19 brilliantly simple architectural blueprints.
Perhaps the easiest way to think about the so-called ‘Disney Way’ is to imagine this question, “What would Walt do?”
My 19 architecture blueprints allow anyone to over-focus, and act with world-class discipline, on the core basics of Disney’s business.
Never get bored with the basics.
9.11 – Pause – Book – Six
A lifetime of learning, doing, and then finally teaching the Disney Way.
Content the work speaks for itself.
Happy present moment.
Just like Disney Institute (DI), the Professional Development arm of the Walt Disney Company, but you get this too:
- Exclusive, Concierge-level access to the owner, every single time.
- World-class, Disney Business Excellence content, generally 50% less cost than other world-class providers (like DI).
Think about how this applies to what you purchase and why?
- How is a world-classs brand positioned by you?
- Why do you choose that brand instead of other brands?
- Why do you recommend that brand to your friends instead of other brands?
- What story do you tell yourself when you choose this brand?
How is this brand positioned by you?
For example, Apple has unparalleled safety plus has a change-the-world karma.
Why do you choose a world-class brand instead of other brands?
The founder’s story inspires you.
Why do you recommend your most trusted brands to your friends instead of other brands?
Because it works, because it’s worth the cost, and because it’s great karma.
What story do you tell yourself when you choose your most trusted brands?
You tell yourself you are smart. You are also excited, yet relaxed. You also identify with what the brand stands for. In a way, your favorite brands are an extension of your personal values, optimism, and goals.
The best business excellence analogy i can make
Here’s the best analogy for why organizational vibrancy blueprints need to be drawn up like architectural drawings:
No one begins building anything without blueprints.
The more detailed the drawings, the better the outcomes.
Literally nothing gets missed when the design is on paper.
Take physical vibrancy, for example:
Common thinking includes the two headliners, diet and exercise. Sometimes sleep is referenced.
Rarely (probably never) have you or anyone you know refined physical vibrancy into seven core blueprints.
What would happen to your approach if you had to draw up plans for all seven?
A common response is overwhelm, leading to avoidance.
A second response is rationalizing the details are only for olympians and other superior athletes.
It’s the same way organizational vibrancy architecture is deemed critically important for only the world’s leading, blue-chip companies.
Why seven Disney Business books?
First, it’s important to set context for why there is such a crazy (impossible) dream to write seven Disney business books.
And, to also think publishing seven Disney Business books is a smart move.
Do you know someone who has done this?
Ever heard of an author who’s done this?
Then why would someone dream it up?
And perhaps there could not have been a more challenging time in the last 60 years to think something this bold would work.
The economic tsunami in 2008 and 2009 was instigated when a massive and over-inflated real estate bubble burst – making most people fear for their professional future.
Once the real estate market hit bottom, many people got trapped owning a home that was worth far less than they owed on the mortgage – there was no way they could sell and pay off their mortgage.
It was ugly.
These unfortunate people thought they had made the greatest financial move of their life but were suddenly in an impossibly hopeless situation.
So 2008 and 2009 where not fertile ground for breakthroughs.
Which begs an interesting question.
When is it a good time to put your dreams on hold?
Do you remember what impossible dreams you were dreaming in 2008?
There was one i had, and although a decade ago, that still feels like yesterday.
Here’s how it serendipitously unfolded at Disney Institute – our conversation playing out randomly and innocently.
The conversation began the moment he walked by, “Jeff (James, Disney Institute’s new VP), do you have a minute?”
i asked Jeff, “What percentage of an average family’s children’s movie collection is Disney?”
He said, “Probably 70-80%”
Which led to, “Jeff, see all those business books on Jack’s (Santiago) top shelf?”
“What if we could do the same thing with Disney Business books? Think of business professionals across the globe. Any country, any industry, any level employee. What if every work bookshelf had 70-80% Disney Institute authored books? Seriously, why not?”
The riff began quickly and ended quickly. There was no need to rattle off 101 titles (yes, an intentional number from a famous Disney movie). Just a few would paint the obvious picture.
“The Disney Approach to Orientation”.
“The Disney Approach to Exceeding Customer Expectations.”
“The Disney Approach to Creating a Clear, Concise, and Compelling Vision.”
“The Disney Approach to Hiring Right-Fit Talent.”
Our conversation didn’t last long. Two busy Disney leaders. One impossible dream. A dream so far out of reach that all you could really do is smile and say, “As soon as we colonize another planet…”
So yeah, seven Disney Business books can seem audacious to anyone who’s never written a book, but to a dreamer and lifetime Disney Cast Member, seven books is really just scratching the surface.
Do you recall when Walt Disney purchased 160 acres in Anaheim and how he quickly outgrew that space?
A decade later he orchestrates the undercover purchase of 43-square miles (27, 443 acres) of snake, alligator, and mosquito-infested swampland in Central Florida and boldly proclaims we will build the Vacation Capital of the World?
Bold is part of our Disney DNA.
Knowing many will question your mental stability because the odds are so unfavorable, you must always believe one of Walt’s most famous statements, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
• • •
Summary: Seven books seems impossible when in reality, is simply the starting line.
Opportunity: Make dozens of books featuring Disney-insights for every business topic.
Note: All five posts today are identical. The photos and photo captions will be different though.
Happy present moment.
Learn how to apply Disney business wisdom to your life for personal vibrancy and balance.
Roughly 15 minutes each.
Seven seasons: Intro, Mind, Body, Spirit, Work, Home, Outro.
** Update January 2022: The first eight seasons, 95 episodes, are now in the vault. Jeff hopes to use all 100 episodes as a client product for Employee Wellness initiatives. You may still enjoy and find value in the current available episodes, 96-100, from final “summary” Season 9.**
To listen on iTunes click here.
Why this Disney Organizational Vibrancy book is valuable:
It is simple and easy to read.
It is rocket fuel for people who are stubborn, don’t take no for an answer, and detest the status quo.
It is a roadmap showing the world-class destination – personal and organizational vibrancy.
You decide the route and the method for getting there.
The how and what are unimportant. Your why is timeless, powerful, lofty, inspiring, and maybe even impossible.
You decide what and how to make it work.
It is based on Disney’s time-tested, world-class business excellence practices.
It provides a simple, non-negotiable framework with five time-tested, common-sense organizational vibrancy pillars: Leaders, Employees, Customers, Brand, Innovation.
It provides the opportunity for you to make it work based on your unique leadership style.
It is singularly-focused on why Disney does the things it does, in the way it does.
The sentence above is the key to this entire book.
The why never changes. The how and what change as needed.
It frees you from focusing on what and how – this will come later after you understand, and become, intentional with your “why”.
It reveals time-tested, world-famous Disney business practices in a never before way.
It illuminates the four foundational leadership basics that are essential for personal and organizational vibrancy.
It focuses on being intentional where you and your organization have been less intentional or maybe even completely unintentional.
It enables people and organizations to understand how to create an intentional culture that scales and that consistently produces personal and organizational vibrancy.
Why this Disney Business Excellence book is important:
This Disney Business Excellence book is uniquely different from other Business Excellence books. It is written from 30 years of first hand Disney Cast Member experience. It is written from a rare and distinguished opportunity to teach the Disney Business Excellence Way to countless business leaders at every level and in every industry. This book also places Leadership as one of five golden organizational vibrancy pillars.
The content is context-neutral, meaning it applies to every organization that has leaders, employees, customers, a reputation, and problems to solve and opportunities to seize.
No other Disney Business Excellence book is a critical part of a series of Disney Business books intentionally designed to compliment one another.
The way i’ve grown to simplify explaining the Disney Way is to say this: there is only one Disney and only one Disney Way.
The Disney Way can be impossible to comprehend, and challenging to explain.
Unless you break it down into manageable chunks.
Which begs the question, “Who is qualified with the depth and breadth to deliver both expert comprehension and an expert translation?”
The only reason i spent 15 years delivering five unique professional development content tracks at Disney Institute is so we didn’t overwhelm non-Disney business leaders.
Yes, five distinct pillars make the Disney Way easier to understand visually which opens the door for more effective intellectual comprehension.
These “non-Disney” business leaders from every industry and all management levels all had one goal. To learn what Disney does, how Disney does it, and why Disney does it.
Any use of the word we is simply a deeply-embedded commitment (read habit) to our (there, did it again) Disney Culture and everything it stands for.
If born and raised an American, always an American.
If an entire career is dedicated as a Disney Cast Member, always a Disney Cast Member.
Five common-sense, manageable business pillars: Leaders, Employees, Customers, Brand, and Innovation.
Leaders drive the employee experience.
Employees drive the customer experience.
Customers vote by definitely returning or repurchasing, and by definitely recommending – the loyalty effect, if you will.
As a blinding flash of the obvious, the world’s greatest, historically growth-focused and successful organizations have world-class creativity and innovation deeply embedded in their DNA.
What this Disney Business Excellence book is:
It’s for misfits, rebels, troublemakers, round pegs in square holes, people who see things differently – essentially it’s for all of us who aren’t fond of rules, and who disrespect the status quo.
Short and sweet.
Doubles as a workbook for a keynote speech, half-day or full-day retreat, or self-guided exploration.
A fresh perspective on an age-old topic.
Designed for committed people and organizations.
Written from a father-to-son perspective.
Full of practical common-sense leadership wisdom.
Full of time-tested, context-neutral business insights.
Full of strategy and tactics anyone can use – any employee, any level, any industry.
A guide for the leader just starting their career.
A guide for the leader who’s been there, done that.
A template for extraordinary leadership.
The one business excellence book every leader in the world should have in their professional library.
One of seven interconnected books designed to help the right person or team draw up blueprints for organizational and personal vibrancy.
• • •
For the right person, this book is the Organizational Vibrancy Holy Grail.
The author is leaving a Organizational Vibrancy life-guide for his son in case something bad ever happens to the author and his son has important questions after he’s gone.
The author has dedicated his life to deconstructing and then reconstructing Disney’s operational Organizational Vibrancy DNA and presenting it in a book (and speeches) to put a positive dent in our Universe.
This book is intentionally short, simple, and focused – and as a result, powerful.
Thinking differently and intentionally. Build a personal or an organizational leadership architecture and seize the opportunity of a lifetime.