Employee Engagement Category

Walt Disney World Steam Train
Walt Disney World Steam Train.
Walt Disney World Guest Buttons display
Guest buttons designed to increase Cast to Guest interaction. Why? Because it exploits our ability to deliver on the Guest’s four key drivers.

Become the Employee Engagement Category

Lead the category or be the category?

Striving to lead your industry isn’t entirely bad if you’re okay with waiting for someone else to beat you to the next breakthrough.

Why does that sound ridiculous?

Why is it important?

Because some ridiculously important (some would say game-changing) events have happened, are happening now, and will continue to happen.

It’s called disruption for a reason.

Waiting for a disruption can destroy an organization (and sometimes an industry).

Instigating a massive change has the potential to create a hybrid, competitive immunity and have your competition scrambling to recover.

Remember how the music industry let Napster reinvent music file sharing?

Music executives got blind-sided.

As if that wasn’t enough, the music industry never saw a computer company coming either.

Apple, iPod, iTunes, and now, Apple Music.

Apple is a category of one.

The music industry had their chance to become the category.

Kodak had their chance too, but they held so tightly to film, they suffocated themselves.

How does this train of thought affect Disney?

Since 1923, we (Disney) have honed our culture; the Disney Employee Culture that has grown increasingly admirable in the world’s eyes.

A culture by design, not a culture by default.

A culture that works for you rather than against you.

A culture that has been carefully architected over the decades.

A culture worth defending.

By everyone in the organization.

This book shares two sets of four tactics each for how to create an organizationally vibrant culture.

The reason for vibrant cultural health is analogous to the benefits of vibrant personal health.

No brainer.

Hard work.

Totally worth the effort.

Now enter seismic economic, world, and technology events that test our core cultural foundation. If ever there was a compelling reason for a strong, vibrant culture, it’s for when an unpredictable crisis hits.

In 1992 we began experiencing a massive disruption in the way we led our world-famous culture.

No one else felt it though.

We were alone.


It was self-imposed.

Let that sink in.

It was self-imposed.

Performance Excellence, as we called it, would take our great culture and offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something unheard of in a company our size – take our tried and true leadership paradigm and turn everything upside down.

Literally turn it upside down.

i’m convinced the only reason it worked was the fact we had time-tested cultural structure and processes, by design, in place that allowed for what seemed impossible to be highly probable.

•  •  •  •  •

This website is about our BODY. To read today’s post about our SPIRIT, click here.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.