Thursday, April 11, 2013

Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer Centric Employees by Doug Lipp

Book: Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer Centric Employees
Author: Doug Lipp
Narrator (if applicable):N/A

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Mr. Lipp, former head trainer for Disney International, lays out Disney's customer centric training in a manner which can be utilized in all industries. In very simple to understand and concise writing, Lipp lays out what has made Disney recognized as the "happiest place on earth" through branding and employee development. 

These lessons include:
  1. Setting the Stage for Success
  2. Provide values, not just "things
  3. Balancing Art with Science
  4. Don't hang out in your office, walk the business
  5. Be open to change or risk perishing
Some key take-aways for me:
  • Training programs reflect an organization's health and value
  • "The best is never the best; pay attention to the smallest detail." (Walt Disney)
  • Have participants think of situations where they were the customer, patient, etc.
  • DON'T UNDERVALUE FRONT LINE STAFF OPINIONS AND SEEK THEM OUT! You never know where your next great idea is coming from AND it lets your employee know that you value their opinion.
  • Don't have operations involved in your strategic plan? Don't expect it to be successful. Collaboration is key!

My rating: 5 Stars
My opinion: Periodically, a business book pops up that it will be a game changer in the business world. We saw this with Jim Collins book GOOD TO GREAT and my whole-hearted belief is that we will see the same thing with Doug Lipp's Disney U. 

In grad school, there were 4 organizations that were emphasized as being best practice examples of not only successful business models, but leaders in a customer centric business approach. Disney was one of these companies and is an organization that has fascinated me for years. 

Mr. Lipp laid out critical business lessons, not only necessary to training programs, but business survival. He reflects on how Disney International lived these lessons for more than half a decade. Then, my favorite part of the book...he gives key take-aways to reinforce necessary components of what he was teaching from each chapter and questions to ask to determine preparedness or identify weakness in an organization.

In reading this book, I was reminded of Toyota, W. Edward Deming and Lean/CQI/Six Sigma in the 1980's. As the business world gets tougher, customer service separates successful from unsuccessful businesses, I truly believe that Disney, particularly its customer centric approach, will be the business model to mimic in the future (we are actually seeing this movement starting) and Doug Lipp will be the pied piper in reminding businesses that the customer experience and how this message is conveyed to a business' most important resource, its front line staff, is key. 
Want to know more about this author:
Source: McGraw Hill Professional
Would I recommend? : Already have numerous times
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand alone

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