“All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them.”
- Walt Disney
It is often difficult to be the only dreamer in the room. You can come up with – what you believe to be is – your most creative and ground-breaking idea when the Realists and Critics then come in to shoot it down, giving little room for the concept to develop. This can essentially handicap you, slowing down all creative momentum.
So, how do you prevent this?
Walt Disney was smart about his creative process and would present himself as one of three personas when engaging with his staff. They are the Dreamer, the Realist, and the Critic. If he wanted to dream, there was a place to do so. After he allowed an idea to incubate for a while, and after possibly speaking to other Dreamers, Disney would introduce into the process those team members that he considered to be the realists or critics. By doing so, this didn’t mean that all of his or other staff members’ ideas would come to fruition, but it did mean that they were given a fair shot at success.
Have you ever come up with an idea for it to get knocked down within seconds? This can be hard to recover from. The key is to know the right time to allow for the input of others, and also the right type of personalities with which to share your ideas. Don’t go to the critics first, because that is where ideas go to die.
Yes, it can be discouraging when others do not accept your ideas. However, continue on the journey as it can only lead to self-improvement. Walt said, “I can’t get into a rut or let my boys get into ruts…If we quit growing mentally and artistically, we will begin to die.”Read More
Business is Business, and outside of moving to the hills, we can’t avoid participating at some level. No matter the position or industry that you find yourself in, we can all learn from each other. All that Business Owners, Employees and Executives alike are trying to do is to stay relevant in the wake of changing markets.
My creative insights just don’t relate to the area of martial arts (my wife and I have run a successful martial arts academy for the past 7 years). The strategies of which I write are universal, and can help anyone wishing to put their customers first and to take their business to the next level.
I do give credit where credit is do. There is an insightful book by Lee Cockerell called Creating Magic that reveals 10 principles from Disney that can be applied to any business. Mr. Cockerell was an executive at Disney World Resorts for 16 years until 2006. He managed over 40,000 people at the resort, and under his leadership, Disney was able to maintain the excellency of its brand and continue to be an innovator in the Entertainment and Hospitality industries as they faced increased competition…competition that was creating magic of their own. This book provided me with the content to write to you today from my own perspective.
They have a quote at the Disney Institute, “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.” Whether you are a one-person show or have a team of 40,000, success is in getting the people in your circle to take up the torch and believe in your brand.
The following are tips that anyone can use to stay relevant, put customers first, and to take their organization to the next level.
1.) Everyone wants exceptional service.
Some people demand the highest customer service, however, everyone deserves it. If you treat someone as if they are your only customer, they will always feel special. Think of innovative ways to go that extra mile for your customers.
2.) Everyone is important and has a role.
Many people are responsible for the delivery of your product or service. Who is more important? This question is irrelevant, because every person in the supply chain is essential. If you run an airport shuttle service, for instance, someone is responsible for taking the reservation, others must detail and maintain the cars, gas the vehicles up, take care of paperwork, and …you get the point. Everyone is important, and you should let them know and feel so. Taking care of your people will build strong ties of loyalty.
3.) Expect the best ideas from unexpected sources.
“One of us is not smarter than all of us.” Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell
Under Cockerell’s leadership, Disney Resorts had a very open work environment which exists to this day where everyone has a voice. An example of this, a member of the engineering services team had offered to assist with one of the laundry facility machines that processes the laundry at the resort. In short, the laundry machine used tape that would from time-to-time come untied. Because the gentleman had served in the U.S. Navy, he was familiar with different knots. He came up with a new one that would save Disney $40,000 a year, because it stayed tied longer and prevented costly down time. If Disney did not have such an open environment where all employees are valued and feel that they can offer suggestions, no one would have benefited from this man’s experience.
4.) Take Fives and Magic Moments
This is used to describe moments in which a Team Member (your employee) will take 5 minutes or less to make a customer/guest’s experience “magic!” By handing out “ARE”-Appreciation, Recognition, and Encouragement, imagine how your customers will feel. These will often take less than 5 seconds, but you will motivate the receiver to give you so much more in return in their patronage to your business. Again, you are helping to build loyalty to your brand.
5.) Work to Create a Better Culture
The culture of your business is a blend of its values, beliefs, and systems. Culture is the way that you get things done. Every business has a culture. The key is to figure out if that culture aligns with your customers and is attractive to your ideal prospects. Does the culture in your business align with those that you consider ideal clients?
In all, to take your organization to the next level, you must begin by placing more emphasis on customer service. Try going to http://DisneyInstitute.com to see how Disney principles can help your business.
I just finished with the book, Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell which was highly insightful as to just how far the Disney organization will go to to improve the customer experience. Cockerell managed 40,000+ cast members at the Disney World Resort for 16 years, retiring in 2006, and made the habit of innovating daily.
One improvement that we are all probably thankful for is the FastPass. Installed in 1999, the Fastpass assisted with what seemed by most to be an inevitably unsolved dilemma at Walt Disney World: long lines and one too many frustrated customers. Fastpass was an example of utilizing technology to improve the user/customer experience by allowing guests to hold their reservation in line electronically using a Fastpass kiosk system and paper ticket that could be redeemed at a later time.
Over 10 years later, Disney has another card up their sleeves that will greatly improve the ”Magic” of their park experience: the RFID bracelet.
Soon to be implemented this Spring, the Magic Band System, as it is called, will greatly improve long attraction lines, paper waste, and appease many more weepy, dreary, and frustrated customers by providing more interactivity.
Essentially, every aspect of your trip can be planned prior to your trip via the MyMagic+ app and website. Future guests can plan out their trip by reserving up to 3 FastPass reservations for their favorite attractions, reserve dinner, special events and more. the bracelets also serve as your resort room key and credit card.
Very much a right brain initiative, the Magic Band system is a creative solution that is highly intuitive. Characters will be able to address your child by name and even say “Happy Birthday” to them without you having to tell them. (These features are optional for those concerned with privacy.)
It gets better.
If you do end up having to wait in a long line, the animatronic and digitally interactive characters will be able to have this information as well-making your wait more enjoyable. Scuttle will be able to address your child by name or even sing “Happy Birthday” to her as she waits to see Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.
When I didn’t think that Disney could be topped, they continue to revolutionize the hospitality industry, and it seems like they will be keeping the magic alive for years to come.
Has the way that we parent and teach our children evolved? …or do we find ourselves mirroring the child-rearing ways of our grandparents?
We know that whatever the current state of American parenthood, change is inevitable.
Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I am not criticizing our elder generations. After all, they rose to and overcame unique challenges in their time. From World Wars and the threat of foreign dictatorships to uncertain economic times and the challenges of the Great Depression, they were still able to be more industrious than at any other time in history!
The truth is that what worked in the past won’t work in the future. Our children will face an array of challenges that have yet to be seen. The workforce of the future will need an entirely new skill-set if our country is going to thrive in a 21st century GLOBAL economy.
We know that during the first 3 years of life, a toddler is right-brain dominant, and Right-Brain Parenting simply works to keep the emotion, the creativity, and the ability to think intuitively alive in our children. In previous blogs, we spoke of the intense demand that future employers will have for people with empathy, the strong ability to create and to see the big picture in things…people who not only use logic, but who are able to understand and express emotion.
Command-Based Parenting, the “Because, I said so!” approach is hierarchical in nature, and I am not opposed to teaching a child structure and respect. However, as a father of a 4 year old, it’s just that I see my son as naturally very inquisitive and creative, and I would like to keep him that way!
Have you ever tried swimming with one arm? That is what it is like, according to the authors of the book, The Whole-Brain Child, to go through life without brain-balance. I enjoyed this audiobook as I learned to be a better father to my child and understand him better, while also having something interesting to write to you about.
The book is a “How-to” guide of sorts to raising a well-balanced child whose Left and Right Hemispheres are able to work together as a team. This is called Horizontal Integration, and the Corpus Callosum serves as the bridge between the two.
Did you know that Toddlers are Right-Brain dominant? During the first 3 years, kids live in the moment where communication, logic, and a sense of responsibility don’t really exist for them yet. Those of you with kids or who have observed children for a while understand this. A toddler’s curiosity and attention for a ladybug in the garden takes precedence over your appointment, being late for their pre-school or that you have 30 minutes before your dinner party arrives, and you forgot the mushrooms.
Understanding this can lead to reduced frustration for a parent who expects their young child to act with skills and attributes that they just don’t have yet. I know I learned a thing or two.
Once children begin asking “Why?,” their left-brain begins to manifest. The Right-Brain is responsible for emotion; the left for logic. Having left-brain or right-brain dominance, you do not experience the efficiency that parity gives you. You may just be swimming with one arm.
Right-Brain dominance could mean that you are overly emotional, and that you often fail to use logic. After all, logic is what gives you a better understanding of why you feel a certain way and if you are being sensible.
On the other hand, if you are Left-Brain dominant, you may be described as overly logical, often devoid of emotion, and social skills are probably not your strong suit.
In a previous post, we talked about the high-demand or regard that our future will have for those who have strong right-brain abilities such as compassion, empathy, and big-picture thinking. In another, we highlighted Northwestern’s approach to raising “Whole-Brain” Engineers, and it is apparent that the economy of the future will honor those that have brain balance.
Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I have been pursuing better brain-balance for the past year, and I want for my child to be able to use his whole brain to the best of his abilities.
The key will be to encourage his imagination and curiosity with the world so that he will better understand himself and his place in it.
If you have kids, or if I have piqued your curiosity about brain-balance, you may want to take the time to read this book or listen to it on your way to work.Read More
As you would probably agree, Walt Disney was one of the greatest creatives to live in the 20th century. He produced films, stories and out-of-this-world (Wonder what the Realist and the Critic would say?) experiences that impacted us as children and that help to keep us young-at-heart today.
Just writing this blog post warmly reminds me of my favorite Disney characters and the stories that I enjoyed as a child. The Walt Disney legacy, however, goes far beyond the entertainment industry. Disney is big business, and the principles that Walt instilled in his company remain today.
One person can not achieve the level of success of a Walt Disney without a system. I will now share with you some of what I found out about the Disney system to aid you as an entrepreneur, creative professional, and right-brainer.
Walt Disney, the great imagineer was known by his staff to have multiple personas-three in fact, and depending on the time or day, you could have met with any of the following Walts: the Dreamer, the Realist, or the Critic.
This would probably get a little confusing for his staff, but he had good reason for it. What are these three “personalities”?
The Dreamer: this Walt that was not bound creatively and did not impose limitations on himself so as to come up with cutting edge and purely raw ideas-the real fruit of the mind. This is the place where his mind went to well…dream.
The Realist: this version of Walt would be a little more grounded and would begin to shape his ideas and point them in a direction of possibility. Staying in the clouds can be fun, but un-productive. You have to come down to earth sometime.
The Critic: this was arguably the least-fun Walt to work with. After determining what was possible, the Accountant Walt or the Logistics Walt would enter. If ideas made it through this stage of scrutiny, they had an actual shot as funded projects that could be then be moved into production.
Put it to work
Let’s put Disney’s strategy to use in our lives by creating different environments in our workplaces and homes that are designated for one of the above three personas. Even taking an hour a day to journal or brain-storm, take a reflective walk, exercise and meditate can provide you with the stimulation needed to generate your best ideas. Having a location set aside to “Dream” makes perfect sense as the best place/time to innovate is not when you are sitting down to pay bills.
Set aside times/places that will be dedicated to one of the 3 personas, and let us know how it turns out. We, at Right Brain Store would love to hear about your strategies and routines that you use to produce your best ideas.Read More
We write an awful lot about the future of the right brain around here… After all, we are Right Brain Store.
Have you heard of the term Whole-Brain?
While it is true that the economy of the future will depend on individuals who posses such right brain abilities as empathy, “big-picture” thinking, entrepreneurship and creativity, our workforce demands and will continue to thrive on those whose passions and gifts are in one of the arrays of highly technical fields relating to Mathematics and Science.
But, where do the right and left hemispheres of the brain meet?
Engineering Students at Northwestern are now learning to be “Whole- Brain Engineers.” Considering that Math and Science majors have the inclination to be left-brained, Northwestern has constructed a curriculum that balances Technical Expertise with getting students hands-on experience in Innovation and training in Personal Effectiveness. I believe that Dan Pink would agree that Northwestern is on to something here.
“A whole-brain engineer may not always operate in all three dimensions at once, but an engineer without all three dimensions does not possess the skills to provide solutions and leadership in the face of today’s complex challenges.” Mccormick School of Engineering
To find out more about Northwestern’s approach, visit their Whole-Brain Engineering page.Read More