Wow! Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing an organizational development/training session headed by the world renown Disney Institute. Disney Institute uses the philosophies which built The Walt Disney Company to develop custom, creative solutions for other organizations. Presented more so as an employee appreciation event than a training session, Disney Institute advisers used (get this) storytelling to engage and convey their message to the employees. The session addressed organizational strategy, attempted to connect the employees with the vision, defined expectations, challenged misconceptions, and introduced a new employee recognition & rewards program.
The entire experience was truly motivational as an employee and as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist.
As an Employee; I felt
- Refocused on the direction of the organization
- Connected with the CEO (through storytelling and understanding his connection to the organization)
- Clear on what was and was not expected of me
- Valued, appreciated, and motivated
As an I/O Psychologist; I appreciated
- The organizational development structure & techniques, such as having the CEO deliver a compelling story about his connection to the company
- The branding aspects introduced
- The response from the employees
- The presentation of a new HR tool (Employee Recognition & Rewards Program)
- I’m especially excited to see how this customize tool is implemented and how it will impact the organizational culture.
I’m trying not to be too specific and respect the hard work of the Disney Institute, but I would like to touch on one thing. The Disney Institute advisers made an interesting point using semantics. In an attempt to get employees on board with delivering great customer service, the advisers proposed the idea of giving an extra inch verses going the extra mile. Both of the sayings suggest you go above and beyond the call of duty. When comparing an inch to a mile, it does seem less of a hassle to simply go an inch. While I was listening to the advisers, I heard one of my fellow employees whisper “What is the difference? Inch—Mile— It’s the same ____ thing.” That’s when the adviser explained (as if, the adviser heard the employee) that small efforts to make the customers feel special means the world to the customers. They went on to give several examples of minor efforts which could really impact the customer, as well as, the bottom line of the organization.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! It’s exciting to see organizational development at work!