CorporateCoach eNewsletter

Issue No. 51, 22nd March 2004


  1. Editorial: Creating a service theme
  2. Coaching notes: Disney guide to creating a culture

1.     Editorial: Creating a service theme

Richard Winfield - editor and principal consultantI have been transcribing the flip charts from last week's corporate retreat. It has been very encouraging and several people have commented on how positive my mood seemed this week.

It is useful to have some time just to review and structure the current situation and to think about the future. We are currently re-designing the web site to bring it into line with our current activities and to simplify its message and navigation. As part of this, it was useful for the corporate retreat to review our target audience and our offering.

To do this, I used a process for creating a service theme that I learned from the Disney Corporation. It is very simple, and very powerful.

Service Theme

Two principles must govern the service theme:

  • The service theme must be adjusted to reflect changes in the product and corporate image of the company
  • The company must be able to deliver upon the theme

Create your service theme

Keeping your product and core values in mind, what is the desired image that you would like your employees to project about your organisation? Write some words and phrases that describe this image:

Professional, facilitative, fun, corporate, supportive, international, local, personal

Now define your product, delivery method and recipients of your product:

What is your product or service?

"We create . . .


How do you deliver the product or service?

" by providing . . .

Strategy consulting, facilitation, executive coaching and training

To whom do you deliver your product or service?

" for . . . .

Individuals and teams in organisations

As a result of using this simple process, I produced this simple 'elevator' statement to describe what we are to someone in an elevator in the short time available when travelling between floors.

"Brefi Group is an international change management organisation that helps individuals and teams in organisations become more successful by realising their potential."

Or, for short: "We help organisations realise their potential."

Apart from statements on printed matter and web sites, you never know when you might have an opportunity to 'sell' to someone in a very short time. it pays to have your elevator statement rehearsed. Why not try this simple technique for yourself?

There is more about how Disney deals with customer service below.

I have also been negotiating the programme for a course on leadership through coaching and mentoring. Once again I am able to turn to Disney.

The Disney foundations of leadership model

  • Dream it - picture the future
  • Plan it - unleash creativity
  • Do it - mobilise the team
  • Stick to it - sustain the progress
  • Live it - make an impact

Leadership model


  • Empowerment and partnerships
  • Innovation and change
  • Interpersonal skills

Leadership strategy

  • Being a behaviour
  • Being a mentor
  • Being a catalyst
  • Being a role model

Coaching plays a major part in achieving the level of customer servcice for which Disney is world famous. I wonder whether it is conicidence, therefore, that this year's CoachVille conference is to be held at Walt Disney World in Florida?


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2.    Coaching notes: Disney guide to creating a culture

Disney theme parks are all about culture and values, so it is interesting to know how they set about creating a service culture. Service is provided by many thousands of individuals who are relied upon to behave in such a way as to make the 'guests' visit special. Here are the notes I took when training at the Disney Institute.

Guidelines for creating a culture

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it global
  • Make it measurable
  • Provide training and coaching
  • Solicit feedback and ideas from the team
  • Recognise/reward performance

Guidelines for establishing service standards

  • Objectify What is the objective of each standard?
  • Prioritise Are the standards prioritised in order of importance to the customer?
  • Train Are the standards effectively communicated to your employees from the beginning of their employment?
  • Implement Are the standards used when designing and testing all aspects of customer service?
  • Maximise In executing your service standards, do you shoot above the mark?
  • Understand Have you taken into account the needs of your customer and employees? Have you viewed the standards from their perspectives?
  • Maintain What systems are in place to ensure that the standards are being maintained? What measuring tools, procedures, and policies monitor the effectiveness of the standards?


People buy expectations about performance and service. Identify the needs, wants, stereotypes and emotions of the target audience and then identify ideas and initiatives for meeting and exceeding their expectations.

Managing the Process

Evaluate processes for efficiency and effectiveness as follows:

  • Purpose What is the reason for the process?
  • Patrons Who are the end users and how do they benefit from the process?
  • Partners Who are the doers and suppliers of the process?
  • Parameters What is the scope of the process?
  • Procedures What are the steps involved in completing the process?


Empowerment is the means and opportunity to make decisions and take actions that directly affect the customer. Empowerment is:


  • Definition: transferring power downward in an organisation, with clear expectation and decision making authority.
  • It happens when: the leader believes in the integrity, ability and good character of the employees.
  • It is the result of: the relinquishment of control and an expression of trust in people.
  • It is demonstrated when: employees are given the responsibility and accountability for decision making.


  • Definition: providing an understanding of the big picture through exposure and knowledge beyond the normal job description.
  • It happens when: the leader believes that each employee is a critical component to the company’s success.
  • It is the result of: understanding that people are motivated when they sense they make a difference.
  • It is demonstrated when: the individual is given the opportunity to see clearly how his or her job contributes to the whole.


  • Definition: ensuring that then necessary support systems, tools and equipment are in place to permit individuals to do their jobs.
  • It happens when: the leader believes that employees must be given the support systems they need.
  • It is the result of: knowing the operation and being among and listening to your people.
  • It is demonstrated by: allocating the necessary resources to provide clean, efficient and safe working conditions.


  • Definition: training and coaching for skill building and a clear understanding of scope and limitations.
  • It happens when: the leader believes that providing training, personal development opportunities, and feedback will enhance job satisfaction and improve performance.
  • It is the result of: understanding that people desire to improve performance and will be more motivated when they feel their leader supports their growth.
  • It is demonstrated through: coaching as well as formal training opportunities.


We aim to make the Brefi Group web site the premier developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

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Copyright 2004 all rights reserved.

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Brefi Group is a change management organisation that provides corporate coaching, consultancy, facilitation and training. Be sure to visit the Brefi Group web site at

We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: 08450 678 222, or +44 (0) 121 704 2006 (international)