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5 Handy Business Tips from the House of Mouse [Disney]

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

What lies in store for your business in the Year of The Rat? With no end in sight for the trade war and more uncertainty and disruption, we should expect a challenging year ahead. That said, there’s always great opportunity in adversity so it’s not all bleak! Some of the best businesses were built in challenging times.

Thought I’d share five things I learned from working in the “House of Mouse” (Disney) for a decade, that you will perhaps find insightful as you navigate your way through 2020.

1. Focus on your customers, not on your competition

Many companies are obsessed with their competitors, however, at Disney, we focused on our customers first, while keeping an eye on the competition. Your customers ultimately make your business, make them your priority. Show them the love and build a strong bond and see how this translates to business success and longevity.

2. Don’t rush to market

While everyone else will rush to be the first mover, Disney is typically last to the game but they sure get it right! Take the new streaming service or the theme park magic band. It took a while to develop these products. For Disney, it’s all about living up to the brand expectations and the high-quality standards it is known for.

Don’t rush to market with a half baked product, especially in a very unforgiving social media world. Take the time to develop a well thought through product and user experience and the rewards pay off handsomely. Quality and great experience trumps speed.

3. Dedicate time for strategy

We typically spent months working on our business strategies and scrubbing our presentation decks. Deep insights and research, informed our business strategies. We went through several iterations, dry runs and much debate and discussion before the final presentations were ready to be shared with the US exec team.

Strategy planning shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bake the process into your planning calendar and allocate enough lead time. 3 months prior to your deadline (start of your FY) is a good time to kick this off.

4. People matter most

If you care about your people your people will care about you and the interests of company. Disney is an exceptional company in this regard. Family figures in everything the company does. Disney understands that you are part of a family unit and that’s important from the way the company structures benefits to including family members for company events. Celebrate family is one of the Disney Channel brand values and lived every day within the company.

5. Create a powerful onboarding experience

I still vividly remember my immersive orientation at Disney. Being exposed to great storytelling and rich history of the company set the stage for my working experience with the House of Mose. The storytelling around Walt’s dream the passion of the people and the great characters and attractions and experiences that the brand creates every day, all this made me feel that I was part of something bigger.

I felt that I hadn’t just joined a company but am now part of a movement. That movement stems from a great company purpose: To spread joy and optimism in the world through kids and families.

Hope you enjoyed these tips from the ‘House of Mouse.’ If you need some help figuring out the best strategy for your business moving forward, please visit my website to see how I help businesses rise to greatness through company culture, branding and customer experience transformation.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous Year of the RAT.

To your success and transformation


About the author

Ashok Miranda is a Business Transformation Architect and founder of Transform and Transcend, based in Singapore. He is the author of the book Culling Cuturitis: How To Rid Your Company Of This Toxic Disease and Build a Winning Company Culture.

Ashok is a much sought-after speaker, consultant and trainer and has transformed the mindset of thousands of businesses professionals across the region.

He is passionate about architecting a better business world by helping build purpose-driven companies with exceptional workplaces that foster happy and engaged employees. Ashok's areas of expertise encompass company culture transformation, deep branding and customer experience transformation.

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