Monthly Archives: July 2013

Change Management and Mickey Mouse

My family and I recently spent a few days at Walt Disney World and it was amazing to see some of the change management tools Disney uses to create “the happiest place on earth.”

Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom

Disney Change Management Lesson #1: A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

The folks at Disney are experts at making the line to the front of an attraction both winding and interesting. As you make your way back and forth in the well engineered lines, they want you to focus less on the wait and more on the great artwork, interactive screens, and celebrity videos.

The lesson? If you can’t make the journey shorter, at least make it exciting! As you lead changes, look for ‘fun’ ways to communicate about the process of changing and the final result. One great example I’ve seen was the creation of a superhero and corresponding comic strip. A new strip was released regularly to explain the current progress of the project. It wasn’t the finest artwork but it definitely got my attention.

Disney Change Management Lesson #2: I Just Can’t Wait to Be King

Don’t want to wait in line? Has Disney got a deal for you! Just place your ticket in the FastPass terminal and get a pass to the front of the line. There’s only one catch, your FastPass is only good for a specific hour later in the day. In effect, you give up the right to hold a FastPass for any other ride for the benefit of spending less time in line for the ride you really want to ride (and presumably, ride less popular rides).

The lesson?  Give people as many choices as possible. You may find people who want to change faster than you have planned.  Let them take the change ‘FastPass’ and become ambassadors!

Disney Change Management Lesson #3: Be Our Guest

Disney hospitality is legendary.  They want to make sure that you know exactly where to go and what to do while you’re with them.   In fact, they do such a great job that it can be jarring when you don’t get the directions you’re expecting (as we didn’t with the ‘pagers’ in the new Dumbo play area at Fantasyland).

The lesson?  If you’re changing something keep the steps of the process available for all to see.  The better people understand the end results, the more support they will give you.

So, what about you?  What change management lessons have you seen around you today?


From Impossible Dream to Reality and Back Again!

Recently, I wrote about Daniel Nava, the 70 pound ninth grader who dreamed of playing Major League Baseball.  Nava saw his dream come true when he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw for the Boston Red Sox in 2010.  So, you can imagine the frustration he might have felt as he spent the entire 2011 season in Triple-A, one step away from his dream.

After playing in only 88 of Boston’s 162 games in 2012, no one expected Nava to have a major impact in 2013 but, halfway though the season, this writer argues that he deserves a place on the American League All-Star team.

2013_MLB_All-Star_Game_Logo (1)

Nava won’t be playing in the game tonight but don’t be surprised to see him in the future!

From dream (high school) to reality (grand slam in 2010) to dream (2011 in Triple-A) to reality (arguably one of the finest players at his position in the league), Nava’s story shows us that a vision doesn’t always come to pass all at once.  There may be many challenges to the vision that come your way but stay true to that initial vision…one day, you may find yourself in a place that you never even imagined!

An Impossible Dream

Ever had a dream?  A really impossible one?  Daniel Nava did.  The 70 pound ninth grader dreamed of playing Major League Baseball.  Not a unique dream to be sure.  Really, don’t most boys dream about scoring a goal, completing a pass, or hitting a home run at the highest level?  I sure did.

So Daniel’s dream wasn’t unique.  Was it realistic?  Certainly not in high school where he barely played before his senior year.  And not really at Santa Clara University where he served as team manager.  But somewhere along the way, Daniel had a growth spurt.  And, after years of college and minor league baseball, he stepped up to the plate for the Boston Red Sox at age 27.  A little old for a rookie but Daniel’s dream wasn’t affected by time.  On June 12, 2010, Daniel’s first opportunity to hit in the highest level of the sport, he did it.

He hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw.

Daniel had a vision of what he wanted to do that took more than 10 years to come to pass.   That took patience and hard work every day.


I recently heard a quote in the movie Touchback:

The future is just a whole lot of what you do right now, strung together.

We all have dreams, visions for what we want the future to be like.  So ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?”, because that’s a good indication of what your future will look like.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia