Podcast #17: 5 Best-in-Business Lessons from 90 Years of Mickey Mouse

Podcast #17: 5 Best-in-Business Lessons from 90 Years of Mickey Mouse

Happy Birthday Mickey!

It’s crazy to think that my former boss at Disney is now 90 years old. Where have the years gone? Still, Jim Korkis, Disney’s greatest unofficial historian and I are thrilled to bring you this podcast that not only shares some wonderful insights about “the leader of the club”, but ideas you can carry back to your own organization. You can listen to the podcast at Podbean here and at Apple iTunes here.

J. Jeff Kober Introduction
My earliest photo with Mickey as a kid. These were often mob scenes and difficult to get a great photo.

In summary, here are the 5 best-in-business lessons from 90 years of Mickey Mouse.

1. Technology. Do you use technology to continually improve how you share and deliver your products and services? Do you find new ways to use technology to support that delivery?

Mickey Mouse in the post show retail setting of Mickey’s PhilarMagic. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

2. Teamwork. It takes a team to make a Mickey Mouse cartoon. The notion that it isn’t one person that creates an animated cartoon, but talented, unique artists all coming together to create one Mickey. Even in the parks, when people ask me, “How many Mickey Mouses are there?” I correct them to say that the real question to ask is, “How many Mickeys does it take to create one Mickey?” How does your team come together to create one brand experience?

Mickey meeting a child in Shanghai Disneyland. Phot by J. Jeff Kober.

3. Synergy. Mickey Mouse is more than a character. He has become a global symbol the world over. How do you combine your products and services to make the total greater than the sum of the individual parts? How do you make 1+1 = 3?

Mickey Mouse enjoying an ice cream on board the Disney Cruise Line. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

4. Globalize.  Mickey is everyone’s favorite mouse. His appeal is universal in Disney theme parks, entertainment and other offerings world-wide. How do you make your products and service acclaimed world-wide? How do you get people to claim your brand as their own?

Mickey at the entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

5. Tenacity. It took Walt experiencing failure in order to create Mickey. How do you keep re-inventing yourself? How do you make your products and services evergreen?

Mickey’s star in Hollywood. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Here are some other smaller notions from the podcast:

  • Be in the right place at the right time.
  • Create a brand that triggers you positively emotionally.
  • Make a brand with values that transcends nationalities.
  • Learn about failure early in life.
  • Failures can sometimes pay off later.
  • In simplicity, you can become a Mickey Mouse operation

These ideas will help you to create your own Mickey Mouse operation–and remember–that’s a compliment when you’ve outlived everyone else and created the best entertainment organization in the world.

More From Jim Korkis!

If you’ve enjoyed hearing from Jim, you simply need to check out many of his great books and writings. And this is the best time of year to do so, as Jim’s 7th Vault of Walt focuses on the holiday season. It’s guaranteed to get you into the mood for not only all things merry, but all things Disney. You can check out the book here, and can order your own copy on Amazon here.

Vault of Walt: Christmas Edition

Join Us Around the World!

Want more for your organization? Come see Mickey the world over in our new upcoming benchmarking tour. Visit here to learn more and to sign up!

Disney Best Practices Global Tour

J. Jeff Kober

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