An interview with Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross.
In this, the 40th episode of the Multi-Site Masters, we speak to two Walt Disney veteran leaders who share how simplicity and intentional design of the organisation’s purpose lay at the heart of Disney’s enduring success and ability to “wow” guests at its theme parks. During our discussions, we’ll explore:
- Why having a focus on helping everyone to understand the customer is the foundation to the Disney theme parks purpose “to create happiness”.
- How clarity and simplicity provide a platform to filter decisions and the behaviours of everyone tasked to deliver on the purpose.
- The reason that it’s okay to be off-task so long as you remain “on purpose”.
Along with my MMU Co-Founder, Andy Bull, I’m joined in this episode by Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross, of the consultancy Pelorus Jack.
The second part of our discussion (episode 41) will follow in a few weeks and will delve into the details of how Disney directs its people to bring their purpose to life, through four quality standards, referred to as the Four Keys. While waiting for the next episode to arrive, catch up on some more details regarding the Four Keys by reading Lee’s MMU blog on the 1st Key, “Safety” which was a summary of an excellent podcast series by Dan Cockerell, former VP of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando Florida.
Guests and hosts
Chris Humphrey has a background in customer strategy, marketing management and customer experience. He has expertise in understanding customer needs, leading pricing, product, communication and distribution decisions, and helping to create exceptional end-to-end experiences everywhere customers interact with the brand. He spent 17 years with The Walt Disney Company, including directing marketing and customer strategy for Disney Destinations and representing Disney Institute in Europe, which uses Disney methodologies to help external organisations create sustained customer value. He spent five years in Paris and was involved in the re-engineering of Disneyland Paris, including pricing, forecasting, segmentation, positioning, the name change, and the implementation of Disney’s Indiana Jones and Space Mountain attractions.
Malcolm Ross has extensive international expertise in planning, opening and operating developments in the hospitality, entertainment and leisure sectors. He has led multiple service businesses including the Olympic Park Legacy Company for the 2012 London Olympics, Seven Tides Hotels in Dubai, and Le Meridien Hotels in Europe. Malcolm is one of a small number of executives worldwide who has had operational responsibility for The Walt Disney Company’s renowned Guest service, having led Walt Disney World’s 30,000 hotel rooms in Florida, Disney’s MGM Studios in Florida and launched and operated the Magic Kingdom at Disneyland Paris.