I've been reading some of the business practices and values that Disney ascribes to. If you haven't delved in to how Disney operates, you might find it useful and inspiring for your business. This week I had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Pete Blank, who spent 13 years with Disney in training, which underscored some of the reading I've done.
Let's focus on efficiency. Small business owners will quickly tell you that they have to run lean to be profitable, and that running efficiently is one of their top priorities. But efficiency comes in fourth at Disney. Decisions are made based on 4 criteria, in this order:
- Is it safe for the visitor?
- Is it courteous to the visitor?
- Is it in keeping with the “show” (or, in a small business owner's case, the brand).
- Is it efficient?
In other words, Disney would, in theory, make a decision to be less efficient if that led to higher customer safety and courtesy. Something to think about!
In this time of companies run strictly by the quick profit and bottom line we've seen both employee and customer satisfaction ratings dip very low. Some studies have said that up to 75% of American workers either dislike, are bored with, or actively hate their jobs. Lack of input and lack of authority to make decisions drive workers into apathy. Disney says that it makes business decisions based on a “three-legged stool” approach. In other words, each part is given equal weight. The three parts are:
- Employee input, what will keep employees excellent.
- Guest satisfaction.
- Business results (bottom line profits).
When small biz owners are running with limited cash flow they tend to push for the best business result and let employee and customer satisfaction take a back seat. Disney believes that in the end, these two factors impact business results positively.
Although the clients I work with are far smaller than Disney, we can still keep these practices and values in mind, and see how they can apply to make our small businesses stronger. Do you see how you can incorporate and benefit from these values? Leave a comment and let me know!