Mickey Mouse makes people laugh, but behind that lovable mouse is a well-oiled business machine. More than 300 people took advantage of a rare opportunity to take an exclusive look at the “business behind the magic” from Walt Disney World© Resort insiders during a daylong “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence” program held Thursday, September 23 and a 90 minute “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service” seminar held on Friday, September 24th at the Holiday Inn Oshawa Whitby Conference Centre in Oshawa. PHOTO: Program facilitators from the Disney Institute Steve Sweet (left) and Mark Matheis (right) present John A. Walker, president of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence” seminar held at the Holiday Inn Oshawa Whitby Conference Centre on Thursday, September 23, 2010.
The two day event was hosted by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by University Of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Durham College and the Region of Durham.
Thursday’s event was open to everyone in the GTA and drew many local and regional business leaders, entrepreneurs, managers and key employees from all business sectors, including manufacturing, labour, academia, government, energy, retail, multi media and non profit. It truly was a mixed audience. The 90 minute session held on Friday was exclusively for staff and students of UOIT and Durham College and Region of Durham staff. All can now consider themselves alumni of the Disney Institute.
The word “Disney” conjures strong images in the minds of many people. Some think of the ABC and ESPN broadcast networks, but many think of watching an animated Disney film or taking a long-awaited trip to a Disney theme park.
What would Disney do? Attendees of the daylong presentation got a taste of the formulas that associate the company with its unbeatable track record and unmistakable brand recognition. Mark Matheis and Steve Sweet, program facilitators from the Disney Institute at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida shared the successful business practices and unique philosophies that have made the Disney name synonymous with creativity, quality, and innovation the world over.
“The Disney Institute was created to showcase Disney best practices that easily adapt to other organizations, no matter what size,” said Mark Matheis. “Our goal is simple, to share with you the strategies we think are key to maintaining the success of the Walt Disney Company and challenge you to make the ties back to your organization and learn how you can adapt, rather than adopt, our approach.”
Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence covers leadership excellence, people management, quality service, brand loyalty and how to inspire creativity. Disney’s philosophy is based on four fundamentals: leadership excellence leads to employee (Cast) excellence leads to customer (Guest) satisfaction which leads to financial results and repeat business. Ideally, program graduates are equipped to better communicate a compelling vision, select and hire the right employees, develop a service philosophy, create a collaborative culture, and retain customers for life.
We all heard of the Disney secrets: customers are called “guests”; theme parks are called the “show”; and behind the scenes is called “backstage”. But the real magic that Mark and Steve shared with us is Walt’s underlying philosophy of “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true: Dream, Believe, Dare, Do.”
The unique storytelling approach to explain important business concepts paired with Disney video clips captured your attention from the minute the program started. It was a day of interactive exercises, full of energy and actionable ideas that every participant could take away and start applying directly. The business practices they train on are applicable to any organization, regardless of industry or size.
“The Disney Institute is really one of the premier organizations in providing training for businesses,” commented Bob Malcolmson, General Manager and CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “Our organization will gain feedback from the event to determine what other Disney Institute programs could be scheduled for our area in the future,” he stated.
If you wish to be on the invitation list for the next Disney Institute program coming to our area, please send an email to the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. To learn more about the Disney Institute, please visit www.disneyinstitute.com, follow at www.twitter.com/disneyinstitute, or call 321-939-4600.