Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew Miller

Miller's Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – July 16, 2012

Walt Disney Co. has often been cited for the great work that it does around customer service and employee training and development. They have become so good at it, that other organizations hire consultants from the Disney Institute to help them improve performance. How is it possible that a company that deals in theme parks, movies and everything in between can be so well-regarded? Because they know how to run a business. Operational excellence is made up of four key components: increasing speed; maximizing performance; engaging customers; and increasing innovation and collaboration. Disney does all of these things well and can help other companies do the same. Here are two examples of what makes Disney so great:

  • During the Disney hiring and orientation process, new employees are quizzed on the number of Disney characters they know. This helps identify whether or not there is an emotional bond between the candidate and the organization. Disney only wants to hire employees with the right attitude and who are emotionally connected to the organization.
  • When a child in one of Disney's amusement parks drops their ice cream on the ground, the closest Disney employee is expected to drop whatever they are doing, jump to the front of the concession line and replace the child's ice cream with one shaped like Mickey Mouse. Disney wants the customer experience to be memorable so they will tell friends and family what a great place it is.

Part of being operationally excellent is creating loyalty in both your customers and your employees and Disney does that. Here's what we can learn from Disney on how to achieve operational excellence:

  1. Create an emotional connection with your employees;
  2. Engage your employees to make decisions in the best interests of your customers;
  3. Share your knowledge and experience with others to help them improve;
  4. Create a consistent experience for the customer so they know what to expect.

We often think of Disney as some kind of "magical" place and forget what a successful business it is. There is a lot we can learn from Mickey and his friends.


To request an interview or more information, please contact:

Andrew Miller


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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2012.

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