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Why Disney Doesn’t Micromanage, It Overmanages

August 20, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute

"People can feel perfection." That’s one reason Disney Imagineers like John Hench say attention to detail and exceeding Guests’ expectations is so important. It’s also why we overmanage.

It’s important to point out that we do not micromanage our operations. Overmanaging is very different from micromanaging in that the intent is extremely positive; it is a character trait of our leaders.

Overmanaging is also a driver of consistent business results and an effect of the alignment of an organization’s values and vision. The goal: be intentional where others are unintentional — overmanaging the things most companies ignore or undermanage is what differentiates you. Consider the detail that goes into Disneys manhole covers, something that the majority of Guests won’t ever notice.

What Do We Mean by Overmanage?

- Think about your challenge or goal differently and to a greater degree.
- Pay extraordinary attention to the details.
- View what is “typical” or “corporate best practices” as a baseline as opposed to an acceptable standard.

Tell us your story — when have the little details, the overmanaging of a process or experience, made all the difference?

Image: Flickr User Myrna Litt


Posted in Leadership Excellence | Tagged Leadership Training & Development, Leadership Skills, Leadership Styles, Leadership Models, Bruce Jones | 2 Comments


2 Responses to Why Disney Doesn’t Micromanage, It Overmanages

  • George says:

    on August 20, 2013

    It's the little things that matter. The little things add up to the big things. BTW, I have noticed the manhole covers at WDW. Amazing the details...


  • Carmen says:

    on September 20, 2013

    I manage a shop inside a hotel. I realized that many women bought nail polish remover and then bought packs of cotton would not use the rest of the holidays. I bought some small bags where we put 3 or 4 cotton balls and they were delivered free with the purchase of acetone. This generated a great satisfaction to clients.


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