One of two people I have wished I could have met is Walt Disney. Having just been at Disney World again (one or two times a year in the past 30 years!) I do believe I have met Walt Disney. Not in the literal sense, of course, but through his magical wonderland. I have always loved Disney, even as an adult. While all of our trips through the years have been with children (and now grandchildren) I have enjoyed Disney almost as much as the children. This time, I found myself pondering why. It really isn’t about the amusements, for I don’t usually ride them. So, what is the attraction for me? I believe it is that Disney World is a great example of what I consider the Triangle of Effectiveness.
The Triangle of Effectiveness is a model that I use in my speaking, consulting, and coaching business, and it is a modification of the system published by Karl Albrecht and Ron Zemke. The three parts to the Triangle are Strategy, People, and Systems. The philosophy of the Triangle of Effectiveness is that if there is a weakness in any part of the Triangle, the business (or the individual) will not be effective.
Strategy refers to Vision, Mission, and Values. I am amazed at the vision of Walt Disney, and his ability to imagine and create such a masterpiece. Although I remember the mission of Walt Disney to be “to create clean wholesome family entertainment,” a google search did not uncover this. The current mission statement makes no mention of “clean or wholesome,” although it does include entertainment. I seem to recall that the mission statement was changed some years ago, and that may be when the words “clean and wholesome” were removed. Although the words “clean and wholesome” are not included in the current mission statement wording, my experience is that Disney still provides (for the most part) wholesome family entertainment. As for Disney’s current Values; Innovation, Quality, Community, Storytelling, Optimism, and Decency, they can be found in many areas and in many ways throughout the Parks. While Walt might not agree with some of the changes the Walt Disney companies have seen, his mark on the corporate culture is still strong.
The People part of the Triangle is alive and well at Disney. Almost without exception, I have found the people who work for Disney to be friendly, engaging, and kind. The cast members refer to young girls as “Princesses,” and they seem to behave more like princesses while on Disney property! The hiring, training, and development systems of Disney are obviously working, for the cast members represent the Disney culture well. One example of the corporate culture working is that I have never seen a Disney cast member on their mobile device instead of serving park guests. And there are many examples of staff in other companies ignoring the customer in front of them while they are on their mobile device.
The Systems part of the Disney Triangle includes the technology, transportation system, and the products. If Disney is anything, it is a system. A few years ago Disney developed the FastPass system, which allows one to register for rides ahead of time instead of waiting as long in line. (With “as long” being the operative words!) Also, with the development of the MagicBands, one can travel through the parks cash free and (for Disney hotels guests) room key free. The transportation system allows one to take various modes of transport between the parks, including the monorail, boats, and buses. As for products, there are many, and they are always evolving. To see many of the products, simply go to the World of Disney store in Disney Springs. Our 11 year old granddaughter was almost immobilized by the choices, stating, “Nana, there are too many choices!” And she was right! Sometimes having too many choices causes us to not be able to choose! But I suppose most of us would still prefer having more choice than not enough.
Disney is an experience, and a wonderful one. The cost of experiencing Disney continues to climb, yet people still choose to pay the price. And as wonderful as the Disney experience is, it is still only entertainment. It isn’t health care, it isn’t housing, it isn’t food. The Disney experience is a choice, and a wonderful one at that, but still a choice, not a necessity. And many people still choose that choice, and pay, whatever the cost. Because the experience delivers what it promises.
The Disney experience is a pleasure beyond measure.