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?

Posted on July 25, 2013, in Change Management. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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