Why "The Disney Method" is great inspiration for students in EMBA programs

July 04, 2017

The Walt Disney Company is renowned for its effective approach to business. Here's a look at why "The Disney Method" can be great inspiration for EMBA students.

The Walt Disney Company Logo on a metal gate

Over the past several decades, The Walt Disney Company has developed an impressive ability to delight its customers. Films, theme parks, and toys within the Disney brand have become synonymous with happiness and quality. For many, they instill a sense excitement that most companies can only dream of and isn't easy to come by, and this is much to Disney's benefit. As of July 2017, the company was worth over USD $165 billion.

What is Disney's secret to maintaining such a strong, well-regarded brand? "The Disney Method" of business is a collection of practices associated with the company, and which are regarded as great examples of business philosophy and execution. They are often discussed and implemented by leading figures in the business world, and serve as great inspiration for budding executives looking to make their mark.

Want a better idea of why the Disney method is a great source of inspiration? Here are two important examples.

The Disney Method models the value of employee engagement

At Disney, collaboration is an extremely important part of the way the business is run. On its film projects, for example, teams of talented writers and producers expend a great deal of effort to ensure new film projects are well-crafted crowd-pleasers. There are also its theme parks, which are staffed by enormous teams of technicians, servers, ride operators, and others who all work together to keep guests happy and entertained throughout their visits.

One of the secrets to Disney's effective collaboration is the company's willingness to hear ideas from all employees. Management is expected to consider all ideas, including ones they lack confidence in, and try to find ways to develop or experiment with them when possible.

There are two large benefits to this approach. First, it encourages employees to take an active interest in contributing to, and improving, the way the company runs. Second, feeling that they can contribute and make a difference can lead to greater career satisfaction among employees. Higher satisfaction, in turn, is linked with greater productivity and team cohesiveness.

A young blonde woman listening to a speech and smiling
Employees that can contribute ideas are often happier and more productive

Enrolling in Executive MBA courses can help you develop the combination of effective personnel management and decision making necessary for adopting this sort of open, collaborative culture. Expert instruction from academics and leading professionals can illustrate valuable skills in incentivizing employees, and using data to vet new ideas.  Over time, you can build a culture that, like Disney's, encourages innovation and participation, and which might lead your organization to new heights.

Disney demonstrates the value of technological innovation

One of the big stories about Disney in the past several years was its introduction of MagicBands—wearable technology bracelets—in its parks. They can allow guests to access their itineraries, pay for purchases, and perform a range of other functions by tapping their bracelet to terminals found throughout the park. It cost over $1 billion USD to develop the technology, but many guests have enjoyed the way it streamlines their experience.

Consider taking inspiration from Disney's practices and making bets on impressive technology that you think could pay off. Things like intuitive software or feature improvements to existing products can be great for enhancing client experience. They can help you do things more effectively and sometimes even help clients save money—all things clients love.

Two people looking at a diagram on a tablet
Investing in new technology can sometimes help you impress clients on a number of levels

Your EMBA program can help you learn to evaluate great technological investments for incorporation into your business, but if you want a second opinion, be sure to reach out to some of your classmates. Drawn from different industries and backgrounds, EMBA classes offer an amazing diversity of perspectives that could help you get a great read on the potential of a new technology. Check in with respected colleagues from the world of marketing or technology before buying into something great and you could find yourself with a technological investment that will be a big hit with clients.

Do you want more insight into great business practices?

Enroll in an Executive Master of Business Administration program at WU Executive Academy!

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