The 4 Secrets to Disney's Success (and how you can incorporate it into your Children's Ministry)

Walt Disney built Disney on 4 principles.  These 4 principles are the secret sauce behind their success over the years.

From the early days, when the staff could fit into one room, Walt had the ability to gather employees together and capture their imaginations with what could be.

Walt's dreaming was inclusive.  He sought ideas and suggestions from everyone on team.  In fact, employees were not just asked to give input, but required.

Action steps:
  • Be committed to dreaming that inspires creativity.
  • Set aside time to dream.  Go off-site at least once a year to dream, pray, and plan.
  • Encourage everyone on the team to dream and share their ideas, input, and suggestions. 
  • Set up pathways that enable the team to share their ideas, input, and suggestions.
Walt built Disney on values and beliefs.  His passionate belief in the need to instill a company culture led him to set up a formal training program that has become known as Disney University. 

Action steps:
  • Formalize your vision and values.  Put them in writing.
  • Communicate your vision and values constantly.
  • Have each area of your children's ministry write down how they can align with the overall vision and values.
  • Let your vision and values guide your decision making.
Walt knew what it meant to go out on a limb.  He dared to meet challenges, he dared to take risks, he dared to excel.  At times...especially in the early years...he risked it all to see the dream become a reality.

Action steps:
  • Take a hard look at your current programs, processes, and philosophy.  Is it working?  Is it time for change?  Are you willing to take a risk to get out of your comfort zone?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get out of the rut you're in?
  • Create a culture where failure is part of the learning and growing process.
Disney wasn't built with wand-waving or "abracadabras."  It was built on detailed preparation, planning, and execution.

Here's his formula.

Step 1 - Blue skies
  • ask "what if?"
  • be okay with the discomfort of being out of the comfort zone
Step 2 - Concept development
  • research
  • evaluate
  • recommend
Step 3 - Feasibility
  • reconcile the dream with what can be done
Step 4 - Schematic
  • finalize your plans
  • outline the process needed to get you there
Step 5 - Objectives
  • finalize details, equipment and materials needed
  • develop strategy and budget
Step 6 - Contract documents
  • prepare contracts 
Step 7 - Production
  • develop
  • produce
Step 8 - Install, test, adjust
  • install or implement your plans
Step 9 - Close out
  • monitor performance
Step 10 - Celebrate
  • take time to celebrate the accomplishment
Action Steps:
  • Develop a process for implementing your ideas.
  • Ask people to own steps of the process.  Let them lead the areas you assign them without micromanaging them.
"The way to get started is to quit talking and get started." - Walt Disney