Thursday’s guest on the “Mornings unPHILtered” show was Bruce Jones, program director for the Walt Disney Institute. Jones came on the show to talk about Disney’s day-long seminar to be held at Ogeechee Technical College on Tuesday.
The Disney Institute, which was formed in 1986, started holding their traveling seminars in cities around the country in 1995. Jones said one of the most common questions the Walt Disney Corporate leadership was always asked by other businessmen was “How do you do it?”
In fact, Jones told host Phil Boyum that after author Tom Peters mentioned Disney's incredibly successful business model in his book “In Search Of Excellence,” the demand for Disney to hold seminars on their business model just took off.
The management training would provide attendees with proven tools that can be applied to almost any type of business, Jones said. The tools include increasing the levels of service to the highest possible by identifying three delivery systems that are not unique to the Disney environment.
They are: the cast members (or employees), the physical setting, and the processes of a business. Jones said the seminar’s facilitators would share how to tweak those three systems. Then they are matched, or prioritized, with four sets of quality standards: safety, courtesy, show and efficiency.
Jones said that while efficiency is the last of the four, it doesn't mean its not important, but rather than more attention needs to paid to ensuring the first three are in place before worrying about being efficient. That helps guarantee every customer the best possible experience.
Boyum asked how treating customers as number one is balanced with treating employees as number one, too. Jones said ensuring that there is good leadership in place can assure the maximum levels of both guest and employee satisfaction.
Jones said Disney encourages cast members to go the extra mile. For instance, the ability to solve previously unsolvable problems, or as Jones said, being predictably adaptable and creative is essential for a good leader in the Disney business model.
Jones said in hard economic times it is essential that companies include employees in regular meetings in order to share with them what the company is doing. This bonding both encourages employee loyalty as well as gives them an understanding of why some actions have to be taken.
The Disney Institute's “Approach to Business Excellence” seminar costs $395 per person, with Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce members paying $375 per person.
For more information, you can go to Ogeechee Technical College's website at www.ogeecheetech.edu and click on the Disney Institute link, or call the college at 486-7409.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com