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Tuesday / December 7.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: Add a little Snow White

The Last Word: Add a little Snow White

At Disneyland, Snow White never has a bad day. No matter how irritating the comment, how annoying the question, how sugar-high the child, she is a picture of grace, friendliness and warmth. If her feet hurt from standing all day, you’d never know it.

That’s because the cast member who dons the Snow White costume each morning completely understands what is expected of her. It’s an ethos Walt Disney instilled at every level of the organisation; one that remains a guiding principle today.

Snow White is, effectively, balancing art and science.

The “science” of Disneyland is the physical attractions, the shops, restaurants and so on. The “art” is the feel of Disneyland, the sense of wonder, which can only be created by fully engaged, motivated and enthused employees. As professional speaker and former Walt Disney staffer Doug Lipp says, when combined, science and art “create a powerful differentiator from the competition”.

Snow White is, effectively, balancing art and science…

For Snow White, working to this philosophy requires discipline and commitment. Extensive training equips her with the technical expertise to perform in exactly the way in which Snow White is portrayed in the movie – so that to her young audience, she is absolutely believable.

When you think about it, Disney’s perfect balance between the science (the technical precision of carrying out a job) and the art (delivering customer service excellence) is exactly what every eye health practice needs to succeed as well. Yet it can be a difficult to achieve.

Sometimes the person with the greatest technical competence may find handling seemingly simple customer enquiries highly frustrating. Or the person who particularly enjoys spending time chatting to customers may fall flat when it comes to delivering the technical expertise the patient really needs.

That’s not to say our businesses are doomed to either providing excellent customer service or excellent technical expertise. If we follow Walt’s line of thinking, it simply means that as business managers we need to set the guidelines so that our people clearly understand the balance of art and science required in the practice, then follow up with the training to give them the necessary skills.

Just as the young girl who meets Snow White will leave with a feeling that she’s encountered a real Disney princess, so too can your patients leave with the feeling that they too have come across “the real deal” .

The client who walks in to your practice and finds fully engaged, motivated and enthused employees, who can also provide the best eye health options, will want to come back… and they’ll tell their friends to drop by too.

Walt Disney created a level of excellence for his business; one that stood it head and shoulders above the rest – one that would get people talking about their experiences at Disneyland, that would leave lasting memories, and one that would keep people coming back for more. And they did. By paying attention to the smallest details, and working to achieve the perfect balance between science and art, he created the happiest place on earth.


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