Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Design Your Culture

"But I thought a culture just happens?" Well Skippy, a lot of them do. But a lot of them are baaaad.

The title of this post comes from one of the strategies that Lee Cockerell discusses in his book, Creating Magic, on how to create a culture of INCLUSION. The first line in that section defines a corporate culture (via Disney Institute) as "the system of values and beliefs an organization holds that drives actions and behaviors and influences relationships."

I've actually heard stories of organizations saying they don't need to work on their culture because it will just happen, that that will be their TRUE culture. Alert - Alert - Alert Will Robinson. You're looking at the makings of one of those baaaad culture's.

Leaders of your organization need to work on directing the culture - focusing on your values, beliefs, and relationships - so that it doesn't turn or work against you. One of the best ways to direct your culture is to use INCLUSION. I don't think there's any faster way to derail a culture than to exclude employee's. The less they know - the less they are asked - the less they are "partners" - the worse your culture will be.

Just think about it a second. With a lack of inclusion, comes more opportunity for "grapevine" and "water-cooler" talk. Your culture quickly becomes one that works AGAINST your organization.

Now I could ramble on about many aspects of growing and directing your organizational culture (and maybe some day I will) but if you create a sense of INCLUSION, you're going to be well on your way.

What kind of changes can you make, today, in the creation of a culture of INCLUSION?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Give Em Your All

Just a quick spiel this week about giving people your all. I'm talking about training. Aaaaand maybe I'm up on my soapbox a bit.

Have you ever been to a training class or workshop that the trainer just doesn't "show up"? He or she is physically there, but is mentally still at home?

Have you ever been to a training class that the format is not taken seriously? That the instructors don't do everything they should . . . and you know it?

Have you ever been to a course where the instructors obviously don't agree with the information they're putting out . . . and show it?

If you're one of these instructors, listen up. You're wasting my time and the time of everyone in the class, their supervisors, and their (your) organizations. Trainers/facilitators have a responsibility to all of the aforementioned people. You're not just dealing with the people in the classroom - it's all of the others also. If you're going to waste my time by not giving me your full effort, hey, I can definitely find many other productive and more important things to be doing.

So the next time you don't quite feel up to facilitating that class or don't agree with those policies, work on the one thing you always CAN change - your attitude - and buck up. I'm going to thank you for it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guestology - Know Your Customers

I had the great privilege of attending Disney Institutes Approach to Quality Service a few months ago. What a great experience. They've really got this customer thing down.

For one thing - customers are GUEST'S. One of the keys to great service is treating people the way you'd treat guests in your own home. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Good leadership understands this type of thing.

Sit yourself in a position to form a customer oriented culture. An organizations culture is only as good as its leadership.

The book, Be Our Guest (from Disney Institute), describes Guestology as "the study of people for whom Disney provides service". For over half a century "the one constant has been a relentless focus on the needs, perceptions, and expectations of Guests". This is driven by great leadership.

In order to treat customers like Guests, you have to learn everything you can about them. Some of the things Disney knows are:

  • where they come from,

  • the average party size,

  • their length of stay,

  • frequency of visits,

  • attraction utilization, and

  • per capita spending patterns.
Wow - wouldn't it be great to have staff that knew that much about their customers?

Lead your staff in a direction that exceeds expectations. Keep the bar high. Guests continually tell Disney that "a key driver determining their overall level of satisfaction is the interaction they have with Cast Members" (employee's).

Remember that leaders are role models. The better service that YOU provide and the more YOU learn will directly affect the service your staff provides.