Welcome to the Engaging Inspiration BLOG, a gathering of written thoughts on elevated leadership, CX (customer experience), customer service, (a little PR and Marketing from time to time), as well as features of my published works, speaking engagements and experiential educational events. Oh, yes, and my gradual & magical segue over to my career with Disney.
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The Disney Institute teaches that organizations which are built by design must do a core values “autopsy” and start from the inside out, with a mission statement that is a “three-parter”. It includes “Become, Experience, Do” statements (what we want to become; what we want our customers to experience; and what we must do to accomplish all of this). It further over-focuses on taking the essence of your core values reflected in these statements and infusing them at every touch point with every customer interaction.
Think of the amount of opportunity for customer interaction in the special event & hospitality industry. While we may automatically tend to label “interaction” as those moments we speak face-to-face with another, Disney takes it to the level of any place the customer interacts with your brand. That includes signs and written communication, too.
Arguably the most compelling component of a wedding celebration is the dining experience offered to guests. Think about it: what does food actually do? It forces us to come together, to engage. It has the power to evoke memories… to take us back. Or perhaps to take us to a place we’ve never been with new concepts and flavors. When done properly, it provides the diner with an exciting experience they will never forget. And that is perhaps one of – if not the most important take-aways when attendees share the memory of a celebration.
So when planning a wedding reception menu, designing a concept that brings meaning to the food experience is essential. Reviewing current menus from your preferred caterer is one way to get a feel for what you would like for your event; and if the caterer were to elevate that to actually infuse your story into your customized wedding menu, it takes the event to a whole other level, creating even more engagement and meaning as guests gather together.
The Disney Institute, the professional development and training division of The Walt Disney Company, teaches that in the service moment the governing rule is that “purpose trumps task”. They go on to say, “It is ok to be off task if you are on purpose.”
Purpose (which is the essential foundation from which all other service decisions can be developed) always has priority in customer service.
So before we can put this inspiration into practice, one must do the hard ground work on what that purpose is, and then effectively communicate it to all team members, as well as empower them to actually follow through on the importance of this. And one cannot empower them to do it unless they have the “road map” of what that common purpose is for the organization.
We’ve all seen it: those who have all the paperwork to mark their brilliance, and by all counts may actually have a higher IQ number than many of us. But are they guaranteed more success in their personal and professional life as well as successful entrepreneurship because they have a gifted IQ or higher talent level alone?
I can think of countless personal stories and observations of those gifted and highly-educated professionals who did not do the hard work and consequently, have not developed themselves, their career or business to the potential they could have. They only were able to go so far. And there they remained. Conversely, I know countless less-gifted individuals who exceeded an entire industry and blazed brilliant new innovative trails because of their tenaciousness and grit.
What do a Greek philosopher, little red race car and a story born from American space lore have to do with what is playing out right now in front of the special events & hospitality industry and world? Everything.
In my mini master class “Think Different. Work Different. Evolve Different.” I inspire participants to start at a grass roots level by building a business by intentional design and reframing many assumptions that have been held so closely for so long, we don’t even know we have them. There has never been a better time during this global “pause” to get your focus more on your “how” than “when and what”, which is what so many others have laser focus on. By focusing on your “how” first, you have an opportunity to carve out a new niche for yourself and innovate.
It may be longer than we’d thought on the “return” of events and hospitality as we knew it. So what are you doing with this time that is a prime opportunity for a personal, professional and entrepreneurial renaissance?
During this approximately one hour presentation, participants will take a brief look at what was going on leading up to a landslide in the industry prior to COVID, and then take pause to reconsider all the assumptions that we have held so closely for so long, we didn’t even know we were doing it. From investigating a business built by design (and not default) to top 5 practices businesses of excellence are implementing in times of crisis, to how you know you will get through this time, the power of constructive non-conformity in business (i.e. “good trouble”) to our final words of asking better questions in order to innovate.
All the fancy marketing techniques, materials and fabulous PR in the world, coupled with actually being able to return to a new normal (some experts are predicting late 2021 now) won’t mean a thing if one doesn’t start at the foundational base and rebuild for what the new normal will be with the time being given to us right now.
As our Santa Barbara Nordstrom closed its doors for good recently, I was reflecting on my start with them. I helped open the Santa Barbara branch while I was home on college breaks and after I graduated college, returned to enjoy an experience which took me from management to their public relations & special events office. I will never forget the training I had as well as the continual reinforcement of their values for customer service. Here are a few highlights: Continue reading “Nordstrom Behind-The-Scenes Customer Service Training Highlights”→
Signature cocktails are so fun to design for each client. And we are passionate about the importance of also showcasing a gorgeous mocktail, too. Some do not drink alcohol for *many* reasons and why should they be deprived of holding a gorgeous artisanal bevvie like the others, right? 😉 Art, elegance and beauty for all. Tapping into this is hospitality.
Cheers to the family and friends who celebrate life’s most precious moments with us.
Feel and flow for event planning involves logistics (see one of our last posts Re: event layout design to maximize guest experience); but it also involves ensuring our client’s guests having a memorable time, too. It’s not just the entertainment. It’s also about a timeline that allows guests to savor the moments and wow factor we’ve created without getting bored or feeling pushed, as well as allow space for some epic joy and connection with each other . ✨✨✨ Continue reading “Event Feel & Flow Series |Timeline Reminders”→