The Disney Approach – Over-Managing NOT Micro-Managing

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Disney’s Approach to Quality Service conference in Saskatoon. The day was filled with magic and learning, and after the conference was done, two things became very clear to me:

  1. My parents robbed me of a magical experience as a kid having never gone to Disney Land or Disney World, so I MUST go as an adult and experience the magic of Disney
  2. Disney’s consistent business results are driven by over-managing certain elements that most companies under-manage or ignore. It is important to be intentional with the details

I know what your first reaction is as I’m sure it was very close to mine. Over-managing is the idea of micro-managing. This not only sounds exhausting, but it’s also a lot like babysitting which isn’t good for sanity or a team’s moral.

Over-managing is deliberate, and focused with a positive intent. This can be achieved by paying extraordinary attention to details surrounding general business processes and expectations, plus strategically placing emphasis that is both greater than and different from what is typical in corporate best practices.

This concept was evident at the training conference in Saskatoon. The organizers brought the Disney experience to life by rolling out the red carpet, incorporating guest seating and providing unbelievable snacks throughout the day. No boring dry cookies here! Instead, they brought in all of your favourite food groups as a kid – chips, chocolate and candy. Mid-afternoon break was truly a celebration with coloured punch and bright icing birthday cakes, depicting some of the most loved Disney characters.  I felt like I was at a really large birthday bash with 600 other people! To top it all off, the décor of balloons, party favourites and music added to the magic.

This conference is just one example of how Disney took a training event and over-managed it to create an elevated customer experience. The impact it had on my mood was extremely positive, and that feeling carried into every conversation I had when I shared my experience with others. I learned that it’s the little things that count, and despite what you think, they don’t just happen by chance with Disney.

I challenge you to look within your own business. What detail(s) could you over-mange to create exceptional customer service? What is the industry expectation and how can you elevate it to be your competitive advantage?

That’s the magic of Disney! #BeBrave

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