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Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees [Kindle Edition]

Doug Lipp
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Leadership lessons from the iconic brand you can use to drive Disney-style success

In helping Walt Disney create “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Van France and his team started a business revolution in 1955 that eventually became the Disney University—the employee training and development program that powers one of the most famous brands on earth.

Disney U examines how Van France's timeless company values and leadership expertise have turned into a training and development dynasty: the Disney U. The book reveals the heart of the Disney Culture and describes the company's values and operational philosophies that support the world-famous Disney brand.

Doug Lipp is an internationally acclaimed expert on customer service, leadership, change management and global competitiveness, specializing in the lessons he learned at the Disney U.

About the Author

DOUG LIPP helped create the first international version of the Disney University, in Japan at Tokyo Disneyland, and then led the training team of the Disney University at the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company, The Walt Disney Studios. He mentored undera number of Disney University visionaries, including the Disney University founder, Van France. Lipp consults with numerous Fortune 100 corporations and travels the world speaking about the lessons he learned at the DisneyUniversity.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 772 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (26 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BDE68E4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #189,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Personal note: Soon after Disneyland opened in 1955, my father was invited by Walt Disney to tour the park with him and his brother Roy. (My father's firm had been retained to design insurance coverage for the entire Disney organization and he served as the "general contractor" for assigning segment coverage.) Frankly, I had no idea what to expect and still get goose bumps every time I recall entering, for the first time, what was both metaphorically and literally a Magic Kingdom.

Some organizations need to have more of their employees positively and productively engaged than do others and that is certainly true of The Walt Disney Company and, especially, true of its theme parks at which "cast members" constantly interact with "guests." In this book, Douglas Lipp explains how "the Disney University develops [who he claims are] the world's most engaged, loyal, and customer-centric employees." They are "second to none when it comes to friendliness, knowledge, attentiveness, passion, and guest service." That was true 58 years ago and remains true today.

Van Arsdale France is the "human architect" to which the title of my review refers. According to Lipp, he was "a strange combination of three of Disney's most famous characters -- Jiminy Cricket, Mary Poppins, and Donald Duck" who exuded qualities and values "every leader should strive to attain: crystal-clear direction plus an unwavering commitment and passion," qualities that Disney also possessed in abundance. France played a major role in the development of people who make certain that each park would be "The Happiest Place on Earth" for guests as well as for themselves.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first got this as an audiobook, and loved it so much I bought the paper version. Doug Lipp exposes the inner workings and history of the Disney University in an enjoyable, educational and I have to say, inspirational way. If you work with corporate training and haven't been exposed to the Disney pixie dust, this is a great place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 9 Oct. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Absolutely love this book! I work in customer focused sector and this is a very eye opening book and has some great ideas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful lessons from Disney on employee engagement 15 Mar. 2013
By John Gibbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Disneyland's employee orientation program grew to become Disney University, an institution that "forever changed the professions of employee training and development", according to Doug Lipp in this book. The author was for a number of years the head of the training team at Disney University, and the book is largely a tribute to Van France, the founder of Disney University.

The book provides 13 "lessons" in training and managing employees derived partly from the Disney culture and partly from experience gained in facing and overcoming various problems over the years. Central to these lessons are Van France's "Four Circumstances", which are a type of core values relating to the employee training experience: Innovation, Organizational Support, Education and Entertainment.

I personally found the most interesting lessons to be those learnt through encountering and overcoming significant problems:

* When the Disney Store was first opened, the shopping experience failed to meet expectations, and a new Disney Shopping Experience had to be created.
* Two years after the opening of Walt Disney World in Florida, employee turnover rate reached 83 percent, and urgent action had to be taken to improve employee morale.
* Recession in the early 1980s required creative approaches to differentiating by doing more with less.
* Communication silos caused lost marketing opportunities, and the Disney Dimensions executive training program was developed to address this.
* Cross-cultural issues had to be dealt with when new parks were opened in Japan and France

Most workplaces are quite unlike Disneyland, and many of the things that they do at Disney will not be transferrable to other work environments. On the other hand, many of the HR challenges faced by Disney are the same as those faced by any employer, such as improving employee engagement, enhancing the customer/client experience, maintaining workforce morale, dealing with market downturns, and breaking down communication barriers. In my opinion there is much to be gained from reading this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney U is for Everyone 24 Mar. 2013
By Business Owner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My business partners and I own 40 quick serve restaurants and loved Disney U. The ideas Doug Lipp presents are spot-on and we plan to use many of the lessons from this book. In particular we like the simplicity and applicability of the lessons to our business. We don't have a dedicated training crew or a big training budget, but we found out the lessons in Disney U are for anyone. We are confident we can create Disney style magic even in the fast food business. Over the next few months, we plan to share many of the stories and quotes in our staff meetings. Many thanks to Doug Lipp for writing a book that is fun to read and massively informative!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are valuable business lessons to be learned from "the human architect" of Disney's magic kingdoms 23 April 2013
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Personal note: Soon after Disneyland opened in 1955, my father was invited by Walt Disney to tour the park with him and his brother Roy. (My father's firm had been retained to design insurance coverage for the entire Disney organization and he served as the "general contractor" for assigning segment coverage.) Frankly, I had no idea what to expect and still get goose bumps every time I recall entering, for the first time, what was both metaphorically and literally a Magic Kingdom.

Some organizations need to have more of their employees positively and productively engaged than do others and that is certainly true of The Walt Disney Company and, especially, true of its theme parks at which "cast members" constantly interact with "guests." In this book, Douglas Lipp explains how "the Disney University develops [who he claims are] the world's most engaged, loyal, and customer-centric employees." They are "second to none when it comes to friendliness, knowledge, attentiveness, passion, and guest service." That was true 58 years ago and remains true today.

Van Arsdale France is the "human architect" to which the title of my review refers. According to Lipp, he was "a strange combination of three of Disney's most famous characters -- Jiminy Cricket, Mary Poppins, and Donald Duck" who exuded qualities and values "every leader should strive to attain: crystal-clear direction plus an unwavering commitment and passion," qualities that Disney also possessed in abundance. France played a major role in the development of people who make certain that each park would be "The Happiest Place on Earth" for guests as well as for themselves.

For leaders in any organization, whatever its size and nature may be, Lipp suggests thirteen specific lessons to be learned from the Disney University and devotes a separate chapter to each lesson. They are best revealed within the narrative, in context, but I will discuss briefly "Van's Four Circumstances," the values of The Walt Disney Company that create a perfect environment for the Disney University. They are not unique; rather, they are already well-known and must be pervasive at all kevels and in all areas of operation. Specifically: Innovation, Organizational Support, Education, and Entertain. Each must be constant and consistent. The complete discussion of these four can be found on Pages 19-25.

These are among the dozens of other passages that also caught my eye, also listed to suggest the scope of Lipp's coverage:

o The Two Worlds of Disney (Pages 7-11)
o The Disney University Is a Fun Place to Work (31-32)
o Capturing Hearts and Minds (36-38)
o Balancing Art and Science, and, Keeping the Park Fresh (44-45)
o "We Want to Meet Snow White" (48-50)
o A Different Perspective (57-59)
o The Birth of the Disney University (69-70)
o Disney University: Where Everyone Majors in "People," and, Disney University: Tradition and Innovation (74-76)
o Disney Guest Service: Simplify the Complex SCSE (84-87)
Note: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Capacity/Efficiency
o The Disney Shopping Experience (87-90)
o The Walt Disney World Crisis (101-103)
o No Room for Excuses (115-117)
o Executive Development: A Disney Tradition (129-131)
o The Green Light Experience (132-134)
o Cultures Are Neighborhoods (175-178)

Lipp makes especially clever use of several reader-friendly devices, notably "Lesson Review" and "Applying Van's Four Circumstances" at the conclusion of most chapters. He also inserts dozens of quotations from primary sources such as Walt Disney and Van France, of course, but from countess others who were also centrally and significantly involved in the process by which the Disney Parks and University evolved over time. Lipp cites (on Page 17) Van France's memorandum dated (September 21, 1962) in which he proposes a program to establish "the University of Disneyland, 1962-1963." And then as they say, "the rest is history" and much of that history is in this entertaining as well as informative book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Stage for Success: How Disney U Can Deliver a "Magical" Team to Your Organization 3 April 2013
By Robert Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Disney University is a name that carries clout and evokes images of excellence around the world.

How does Disney develop the world's most engaged, loyal, and Guest-centric employees, year after year?

"Training cannot be limited to `Here's what you need to do, now go do it.' That's not good enough. Training needs to instill a spirit, a feeling, an emotional connection. Training means creating an environment of thinking and feeling." - Van France, founder of Disney University

Disney U author Doug Lipp is a world-renowned speaker and acclaimed expert on customer service, leadership, and change management. Former head of the training team at the Disney University, he has inspired and challenged hundreds of thousands with his thought-provoking messages and high energy, entertaining style.

And now he has delivered that magical message to you.

Disney U is centered on the contributions of Van France, founder of Disney University. The simple explanation for the Disney University's success can be attributed to the levels of support and clarity of purpose found in the Four Circumstances, the organizational values that France identified as vital to its success.

Here is just a brief snippet of what you will find in Disney U:

Van's Circumstance #1: Innovation

Backstory: Van France's background included experience as a trainer in manufacturing and the military. He disliked the idea of a "training department," but felt that the idea of a university was exciting. Historically, a university was ahead of the times, leading people into exciting adventures.

Van's focus on being innovative created an ever-evolving learning culture.

Van's Circumstance #2: Organizational Support

Backstory: Dick Nunis, Director of Operations at Disneyland when Disney University was founded, had an education degree from USC. Nunis saw the advantages of branching out from a simple orientation program, and backed the concept of Disney University from the start.

Van knew that unless someone from the highest ranks of management backs an idea, it won't happen. Leadership must be intimately involved and has to set the tone.

Van's Circumstance #3: Education

Backstory: Walt Disney established his own unique school for training the Disney animators when traditional art schools couldn't provide the quality he was looking for. In 1932, Disney began required evening classes, eventually adding ½ day classes as well.
This is the foundation of Disney University: Walt's long-standing value of providing employees with a tailored, relevant training and educational experience. Van France built on that foundation, creating a unique school with a different type of artist. These "Disneylanders" would major in the fine art of creating happiness and receive a special curriculum in human relations and Disney philosophy.

Van's Circumstance #4: Entertain

Backstory: France had many friends in the Art Department at Disney. As a result, the handbooks and training aids were always creative and interesting, rather than the opposite - dull and academic.

On this point, Van France and Walt Disney were in strong agreement: it was possible - no, required - that Disney University both entertain and educate. Entertainment used as a training strategy is a powerful tool that increases engagement and ensures the retention of new concepts.

Secrets of the Disney University

The message from Van France and the many who worked with him is unwavering. Success is predicated on the following:
* Having a seat at the leadership table
* Being a valued part of the organizational culture
* Moving well beyond providing merely short-lived programs
* Being incessantly creative and willing to try new approaches to keep the message relevant, fresh, and engaging

The Four Circumstances also greatly influenced Van's leadership lessons, which are applicable to all organizations and are as relevant today as they were back then.

Disney U is an excellent book for leaders in any organization who want to set the bar high in training and development of current and future team members. Doug Lipp's winning personality, humor, and training knowledge deliver a magical opportunity for your organization to create and sustain a perfect learning tool on the path to engaged team members.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney University 24 Mar. 2013
By Alan R. Gianini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Having managed in large sales organizations, I was not sure the Disney model would be applicable. However, I found the lessons highly transferable. This book is an important contribution to the field of organizational mgt. Each chapter concludes with a nice summary of the key points.
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