Friday, September 25, 2009

The Details


You all may have sussed out by now that I am a HUGE process junkie. How do things work? What are the steps to get there?

During one of the exercises, I noticed that Disney not only focuses on the overarching processes related to the bigger vision, they also focus on the smaller, almost individual processes that impact their front line staff.

The only way I am able to explain it:

The Eiffel Tower = the vision
The bits of scaffolding = the processes supporting the vision.

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I'm not entirely certain how to graph that out or explain it effectively, but it seems to me that Disney is in the process of developing a culture that encourages innovation among their front-line employees. They regularly ask their front-liners:

What are you doing to make your job easier? What are you doing that is solving a problem?


Sometimes, it's not an overt question, but a process of observation.

The resulting details help fine-tune the larger vision - with the ultimate goal of an amazing guest experience.

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All of this is driven by a desire for constant improvement. "Is there a better way to...."

The instructors informed me that this desire is driven by the regular (and extensive) feedback they receive from their guests. They invite feedback from everywhere. Focus groups, informal interviews, surveys, front-line employees. Disney then processes that feedback using an extensive "research" organization that looks at trends.

Beyond using the research organization, there seems to be a lot of gut-level "hey, lets try X!!!!" To their credit - they take these experiments seriously. They also know when to cut bait if the experiment doesn't work.

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How does one turn an organization into one that constantly seeks improvement? Invites feedback (no matter how negative)?

1 comment:

tom said...

Drown your people in LSS and CMMI. Maybe they'll remember what you were supposed to do as a core business.

I loved the Mad Libs post earlier. I've often used that as a model, though I have few successes.