Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Happiest Place On Earth

While I was taking a break from this week’s readings, I happened to look at my Facebook feed.  A friend of mine shared a video of a little girl who was deaf.  The video continued on sharing this little girl’s life at school, her friends and her family.  The next “scene” shows Shaylee, the little girl, standing by Tink.  Kneeled by Shaylee, Tink, the fairy from Peter Pan, begins to sign with her and says. “Hi my name is T-I-N-K.”  Seeing Shaylee light up full of happiness was amazing to witness and this child’s experience at Walt Disney World definitely connected to this week’s article of Building Your Company’s Vision. 

I will admit I have never been to Walt Disney World.  Nothing against it, but when I grew up in Pittsburgh so I went to Kennywood or Idlewild Park.  Being older now, all I see are dollar signs when it comes making a trip to Walt Disney world or its other affiliated parks.  But when I see a video or hear someone’s story about their visit, I am drawn in and I have a hope that soon I will get to go too.  I think my reaction feeds into Walt Disney’s marketing, storytelling, but especially their core values and core purpose!  My point is it can be easy to see a company as being money driven but when you dig deep into the organization, you will see their DNA or their soul.  In the case of Walt Disney World, its core purpose is to make people happy!  Since its opening on October 1, 1971, their core purpose hasn’t changed. 

Amongst its reason of being, there are many other parts of a company’s vision such as core values that are cemented in the organization.  In the case of Walt Disney World, its core values include innovation, quality, community, storytelling, optimism, and decency.  A value that stood out to me was community.  Watching the video about Shaylee again made me realize how inclusive the organization was and to what lengths they were prepared to communicate with a deaf child and her family.  That type of preparation the organization did in this example will be unforgettable for the family and a positive step for the park to continue to think of a family’s needs. (The word “Unforgettable” was used a tag word throughout the video). 

Although you couldn’t tell from watching the video if Tink or Mini Mouse were thrilled to share this moment with Shaylee, the fact that they shared and signed with her is an example of how committed the staff at Walt Disney World which feed into the organizational ideology and core purpose.  Without this staff and other business groups, Walt Disney World would not be as prominent as it is today.  Speaking of its successes, in case you need some Disney guidance, Disney Institute offers professional development classes for all industries in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, and service based on real-world examples from within The Walt Disney Company.

If you are curious:

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