Secrets of the Disney University

Doug Lipp Blog Disney Institute Training

“How does Disney do it? “How do they create the nicest and most customer-focused employees in the world?”

Disney University: The very name carries clout. The very name conjures up images of excellence. Mention this highly-regarded institution to any business leader and the inevitable questions begin: “how do they do it?” and “how can they create some of the nicest, most motivated and incredibly customer-focused employees in the world, year after year?”

In large part, due to the success of the Disney University, the word “University” is invariably found in the title of training departments in corporations and organizations around the world. Yet, arguably very few of these training departments and universities have attained the same level of success for so many years. The reason? Most don’t enjoy the following secret ingredients that the Disney University has enjoyed for decades:

1) Leadership support; the organization values employee development and funds it. Rain or shine.

2) Clarity of purpose; the desired outcomes of every training event are crystal clear.

3) Consistency between what happens on the front lines and what is taught in the classroom.

These sound simple, but too few organizations get the message. Without these secret ingredients, training and development initiatives are bound to fail. This is why so many corporate “Universities” are doomed to become universities-in-name-only.

In my new book Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees, I examine how Van France, the founder of the Disney University, perpetuated Walt Disney’s timeless company values and leadership lessons, creating the training and development dynasty, that has changed the world of employee development.