Disney University Avoids the 4 Employee Development Traps, Do You?


“Marketing is the time and money you spend to get people in the door. Training is the investment you make to get guests to come back and cast members to stay; it creates loyalty.”

Jim Cora, retired chairman, Disneyland International

Yet …

The word “Training” has a nauseating effect on most employees! Why?? Because most organizations don’t enjoy the Four Circumstances of success that drive the Disney University.

What is the secret behind the success of Disney’s world famous employee development organization, the Disney University? Why are its training programs valued and well attended? How does Disney University create employee development programs that avoid the dreaded training trap of being viewed as a “necessary evil,” or worse … “nauseating!” These Four Circumstances are another name for organizational values … Specifically they are:

Innovate: Leaders must be innovative and comfortable with risk. Get out of your comfort zone!

Support: Leaders must provide overt, enthusiastic and sustained support; be cheerleaders of training!

Educate: Employee education and development must be useful and woven into organizational culture.

Entertain: Training … ranging from the front lines to the executive suite … must be entertaining, engaging and memorable … not boring and forgettable!

The wild ride on the economic roller-coaster quickly gets out of control when any one of these four values is jettisoned and excuses start flying. Absent any one of these Four Circumstances, training and development initiatives are destined for failure. Which of the Four Circumstances does your organization enjoy? Which need to be strengthened?

As the founder of the Disney University, Van France taught many Disney executives, don’t blame the budget:

“The budget has become the scapegoat for every possible negative action and rejection of any suggestion for improving things. It is the coward’s way out of any problem.”

Excerpt from:

Disney U:

How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged,

Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees