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Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees Hardcover – Mar 26 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (March 26 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071808078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071808071
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 under a 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 Disney University.


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Top Customer Reviews

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
This book should be a mandatory read from the president to the shipper in any company. Grounding and real. If you want a company to flourish, have a strong retention rate with people who like to show up for work and feel like they are a part of your company, read this book! Thank you Doug.

Mick Dunford
Director, Advisor Recruiting
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got to see Doug Lipp speak live at a convention. A very good speaker and a very good message. This book is great for anyone who is involved with a business that works with the public.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0f771ec) out of 5 stars 75 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b9f2ac) out of 5 stars Helpful lessons from Disney on employee engagement March 14 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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b9f300) out of 5 stars Disney U is for Everyone March 23 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!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b9f738) out of 5 stars There are valuable business lessons to be learned from "the human architect" of Disney's magic kingdoms April 23 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b9faf8) out of 5 stars Not very helpful. Feb. 18 2015
By Rich Nadworny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don’t bother buying this book. It’s full of anecdotes but lacking in how-to’s. You can find most of the type of anecdotes in lots of online articles. My impression was that the book would outline systems that other organizations could use and implement for their own employees. It doesn’t. If that’s what’s you’re looking for, save your money. If you want to read stories, you might get more out of it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0b9fbdc) out of 5 stars Disney University March 24 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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